The Raiders and Carson Palmer are doing a slow break-up right now— they're studying each other (remotely, via agents and shadow-play intimations) and it sounds like they're deciding they don't love each other so much anymore.
Awww, how sad. The Raiders want to shave down his $13 million salary, Palmer is resisting, and this all seems like it's headed to Palmer leaving the Raiders via trade or release unless some last-minute rapprochement is achieved.
Oh, and also this: So what? It's not like Palmer and the Raiders were a match made in NFL heaven, and in fact this was one of the most desperate and panicky unions in recent sports memory. (Obvious from the get-go if you were paying attention.) Let's spell it out: It's not like Palmer hand-picked the Raiders: He was so sick of the Bengals that he "retired" in order to force their hand.
And only the Raiders — in the weeks after Al Davis' death, under the manic temporary control of Hue Jackson — were <NO1>the only team<NO>dumb enough to pay a ridiculous price for Palmer.
(To recap: the Raiders 2012 first-round pick and a second-round pick this year .<TH>.<TH>. yes, the sagging end of the Palmer Era could come before the Raiders are finished giving Cincinnati what it took to get him: THAT IS A TERRIBLE TRADE.) Moral of the story: When you force your own cheap team to trade you, often the only team that will pay the price to get you is the one in the worst shape. Which inevitably leads to the next round of "Get Me Outta Here" theater.
I get Palmer's thinking; he's no dummy, he has talent, he doesn't want to waste it playing in a meaningless situation, and that's what the Raiders have been during his time, before his time, and surely will be for a few years after his time served.
The Raiders have a chance to get better under Reggie McKenzie and Dennis Allen, but I'm sure Palmer can see that it won't be while he still has life left in his arm.
Palmer's not a bad guy; he just keeps getting himself into these no-win situations and unless he wins a Super Bowl somewhere (VERY unlikely if he ends up in Arizona), then I think he will be remembered more for this stuff than actually winning games.
I mean, if your career arc is to go from Cincinnati to the Raiders to Arizona (and then probably to Back-Up Land), that's not exactly a glorious march to the top.
And it's not like Palmer was a perfect QB for the Raiders: He was 31 at the time of the trade, had proven he could be quite stubborn when dealing with non-premiere franchises and he's just not that good any more. He's OK, but he's not anything close to what he used to be and never will be again; he's not going to single-handedly win many games, especially with the talent around him the last few years.
When he arrived in the East Bay, Palmer was many seasons removed from his Pro Bowl heights (though I still chuckle when I look back and remember how hard the Raiders pushed Palmer as a "Pro Bowl quarterback" MORE THAN FOUR YEARS after his last appearance as an AFC all-star.)<NO> The Raiders have lost with Palmer — 24 starts, 8-16 record — and they will lose this year whether Palmer is their QB or Matt Flynn or Kevin Kolb or Terrelle Pryor.