Would Cardinals be interested in Carson Palmer?

Palmer may not be willing to restructure his $13 million salary for 2013. (Getty Images)
Palmer may not be willing to restructure his $13 million salary for 2013. (Getty Images)
When the Raiders gave up a first- and second-round pick for Carson Palmer in October 2011, the hope was that the former Bengals quarterback who threatened to retire unless he was traded would help the organization to their first playoff appearance since 2002.

After a 4-2 start with Jason Campbell, Palmer and the Raiders limped to an 8-8 finish. Coach Hue Jackson was fired and replaced with Dennis Allen, and the team managed just four wins last season. Allen survived the chopping block but Palmer might not be so lucky.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Palmer is unlikely to restructure the contract that will pay him $13 million in 2013, which means the organization will have to decide if a 33-year-old quarterback who ranked 18th in Football Outsiders' QB efficiency metric last season is worth keeping around. The alternative: 2011 third-round supplemental pick Terrelle Pryor, or finding the team's next franchise quarterback with the third-overall pick in April's draft (the team has been linked to Geno Smith).

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If Palmer is released, the Raiders would free up some cap room, but it would also provide other quarterback-needy NFL teams to kick the tires on the player taken first overall a decade ago.

One possible landing spot: Arizona.

New coach Bruce Arians seems ready to roll into '13 with Drew Stanton as his starter, which tells you all you need to know about the state of the Cardinals' depth chart. The Arizona Republic's Kent Somers thinks Arians would have "interest" in Palmer, but Somers is also of the opinion that the Cards could draft a quarterback, too.

When Arians was asked about the speculation that the organization was eyeing a QB with the No. 7 pick, he said: "I think all speculators look at need and not the draft board. If you draft for need, you’re in trouble. Just because you need one you don’t take one. If there’s a better player there who’s going to help your football team. If there’s a quarterback who fits the spot in the draft that you put him at, that fits the value, then you take one. That’s why I feel very comfortable with our situation right now, with Drew Stanton in our mix. The need value is not there.”

Would Palmer provide that value? At the right price, sure. But even if he ends up in the Valley of the Sun, the overarching point remains: Arizona needs a young, franchise quarterback. That brings us back to next month's draft -- if not in Round 1 then perhaps in subsequent rounds.

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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