Why the Oakland Raiders Should Cut Carson Palmer

The Oakland Raiders have a decision to make on Carson Palmer’s future with the team: release him or pay him $15.3 million in 2013. The business world might do a cost-benefit analysis to determine if they should keep Palmer, and since the NFL is a business, it would make sense that the Raiders would do the same.

In this case the cost is known, but the benefit is a little bit more complicated. The benefit of Palmer is basically equal to his future production and can be evaluated in many different ways. There is subjective analysis that can be done (scouting) or you could use data from the past (statistics). General manager Reggie McKenzie will likely use both to arrive at his conclusion.

Once the analysis is done, the answer is pretty clear: the Raiders should cut Palmer. Palmer’s cost is too high, and his benefit is too low for the Raiders to keep him as their starting quarterback. Palmer’s production is far from irreplaceable at this point, and the Raiders would save over $6 million by releasing him.



There are a few ways to evaluate Palmer’s cost. Palmer's cap number will be $15.3 million in 2013, but that’s only his salary cap cost if he’s on the team. If Palmer is released, his cost goes down to $9.3 million against the salary cap. The Raiders also have the option to spread the cap hit out over two years ($4.67 million per year).

The Raiders also have to consider real dollars. A singing bonus has already been paid (or in some cases, will be paid), but a base salary is not guaranteed unless the player makes the roster. Palmer’s base salary is $13 million in 2013 according to spotrac.com, and the team wouldn’t pay him that if he’s released.

If Palmer is on the roster, he will cost the Raiders $13 million in real dollars and $15.3 million in cap dollars. If Palmer is released, he will cost the ...

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