Carson Palmer would have paid any price to get out of Cincinnati
The buzz this week in the NFL has been about the Oakland Raiders making the blockbuster trade for deactivated ex-Cincinnati Bengal quarterback Carson Palmer. Palmer had demanded to be traded this offseason or he would simply retire, stating that he would never again put on a Cincinnati Bengal uniform. Owner Mike Brown seemed content to let him retire, unwilling to “reward” players for not coming to work. The standoff seemed settled and fans thought they had seen the last of Palmer in the NFL.
However, after Jason Campbell broke his collar bone last weekend, the Raiders were put in the unenviable situation of making a trade happen before Tuesday’s trade deadline, less than 48 hours after Campbell’s injury, or testing the waters with backup Kyle Boller and whichever semi-retired backup quarterback was still looking for work. The coaches apparently weren’t enthusiastic about what they’ve seen from Boller, because they quickly turned around and offered up a 1st round pick in 2012 and a 2nd round pick in 2013 to move Brown off his “no-trade” stance and get Palmer to Oakland to start this weekend’s game against the Chiefs. Immediate reaction was that the Raiders gave up too much, and the price was far too high. It turns out, they’re not the only ones paying a heavy cost.
Quarterback Carson Palmer restructured his contract and took a $5 million pay cut this season to go to the Raiders, according to an NFLPA source.
Under his old contract, Palmer was set to make $11.5 million. Prorated over the final 11 games, he would have made $7.44 million. The Raiders will pay him $2.5 million for the remainder of this season.
They did guarantee $5 million of his $12.5 million salary next season, but nobody thought the Raiders would have parted ways with him when they surrendered two draft picks to the Bengals.
Palmer is scheduled to make $12.5 million next season, $13 million in 2013 and $15 million in 2014. But Palmer will make $5 million less this season.
There had been concerns about the Raiders’ lack of cap space when they were looking to make trades for a new quarterback. Before this trade, the Raiders had just around $6 million of cap space available, so they wouldn’t have been able to take on Palmer’s existing contract with the Bengals, hence the need to restructure.
In essence, Carson Palmer paid $5 million dollars in order to get out of Cincinnati. How badly do you have to hate a working situation to leave that kind of money behind just to start fresh somewhere new? Palmer isn’t going to be hurting, as he’s already publicly stated he’s saved enough money to retire and he’ll still make $2.5 million the rest of this season, but $5 million is still $5 million. Mike Brown must be some kind of a-hole.