|It may not look like it above, but everybody's happy ... for now. (AP/US PRESSWIRE)|
Posted by Ryan Wilson
Plenty of people (us included) thought that two first-round picks* was a steep price to pay for a quarterback who has been on his couch for eight months, and was last considered elite in 2005.
But Carson Palmer is now an Oakland Raider, and despite just a week of practice, he appears set to start against the Chiefs Sunday. And, yes, two first-rounders for a 31-year-old QB whose best days seemed behind him reeks of desperation, but Palmer's completely healthy, and he even took a pay cut to play for Oakland. Not so much because he's a swell guy and was willing to do anything to get out of Cincinnati (though that may have had something to do with it), but because Palmer's deal, as currently written, wasn't going to fit under the Raiders' salary cap.
Under his old contract (the one that would pay him $118 million and so incensed Bengals fans when Palmer "retired"), Palmer was set to earn $11.5 million. He instead restructured his contract and took a $5 million pay cut this season, an NFLPA source told ESPN's Adam Schefter Thursday.
The Kansas City Chiefs will battle the Oakland Raiders this Sunday at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Which team has the advantage? NFL.com's Pat Kirwan joins Jason Horowitz to preview this AFC West matchup. Watch the game at 4:05 PM ET on CBS. Also: don't forget to check out the Pregame: Chiefs-Raiders edition.
More details via Schefter's report: "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."
* Technically, the Raiders got Palmer for a 2012 first-round pick and a 2013 second-rounder that would become a first-rounder if Oakland makes the AFC title game this postseason.
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