Yesterday we heard rumors that the Seattle Seahawks were potentially close to a deal to send Matt Flynn to the Oakland Raiders. If the deal happens, Carson Palmer would get the axe due to his refusal to take a pay cut. Palmer has been on the chopping block most of the offseason as the Raiders shed salary. All indications are that this is more about not wanting to play for a bad Raiders team in 2013 than it is about losing a few million dollars in salary.
Reports have Palmer potentially preferring a backup role on a contender, depending on the situation. According to USA Today, the 49ers could be on his short list for such a role. Mie Garafolo is reporting that "a person informed of Palmer's thinking...said the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers are atop the list of Palmer's preferred new employers."
Carson Palmer has limited experience with quality NFL teams, having spent his career with the Bengals and Raiders. He did have two winning seasons in Cincinnati, but for the most part has played for teams struggling to succeed. With the 49ers, he would be squarely behind Colin Kaepernick on the depth chart. He would provide some veteran presence, but as we discussed before, I don't think Kap necessarily needs a mentor in the form of a backup QB.
Palmer is nearing the end of his career, and while he can still chuck the ball, it's hard to tell if he really brings enough to the table. Part of it depends on the kind of money he wants, and part of it depends on the 49ers view of Scott Tolzien. The 49ers could very well look at some draft options, but given the nature of this year's QB draft class, would they really be comfortable with one of them as the backup QB over Tolzien or a Palmer? It's tough to tell right now.