In the 16 months since the Bengals sent Carson Palmer to the Raiders for a first- and second-round pick, the former Heisman Trophy winner has made 24 starts, completed 61 percent of his passes for 6,771 yards, 35 touchdowns and 30 interceptions, and led Oakland to an 8-16 record. By any measure, Palmer hasn't quite lived up to expectations.
The trade had a lot to do with coach Hue Jackson losing his job last offseason, and putting first-year coach Dennis Allen on the hot seat this past season. Allen appears to have weathered the story for 2013. And while Palmer's set to return, there's a chance he'll do so at a greatly reduced salary.
ESPN's Adam Schefter tweets that the team will "try to restructure" Palmer's contract, one that was scheduled to pay him $13 million this season.
"Palmer could take a Vick-like hit," Schefter adds.
That would be Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, who recently reworked his deal two weeks ago. Originally set to make $15.5 million in 2013, Vick is now looking at a $10 million, one-year contract comprised of a base salary, roster bonus, signing bonus and incentives.
Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio has previously noted that Vick's situation could serve as a template for how the Raiders deal with Palmer. Not only that, but Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie has made it clear that the depth chart for several positions -- including quarterback -- has yet to be decided.
"We're going to have a competition not only at (QB), we're going to have it up front on the O-line, we're going to have it everywhere and that's why we want to open this thing to, we want to open the doors for everybody, just come out and compete, whatever happens happens,” he told PFT last week.
And Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson admitted that he's eager to see what the organization has in backup quarterback Terrelle Pryor, especially with the emergence of the read-option offense.
"I like the ceiling of Terrelle Pryor and where we think he can get to, but his skill set is completely different than Carson's, so we go forward with the idea, we know what Carson Palmer is. He's played in the league a number of years. We know what he can do," Olson said. "We don't really know quite yet what Terrelle Pryor can do at this level but we have a good feel for what he is athletically, so there will be packages for both of them to allow them to compete and we'll just be ready in either direction."