As his future with the Oakland Raiders grows gloomier, veteran quarterback Carson Palmer is on the verge of hitting the open market. If he’s willing to accept a reasonable offer, Palmer could soon find a new NFL team who needs a reliable backup.
One option could be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who would benefit from having an experienced No. 2 behind starting quarterback Josh Freeman. The fact that Palmer could also push Freeman for the Buccaneers’ starting gig might also be beneficial for the young gunslinger.
The Buccaneers’ current backup is Dan Orlovsky, a career No. 2 who has never and will never push Freeman for playing time. That lack of competition has led to him becoming a bit complacent as the Tampa Bay starter. Bringing in a starting-caliber passer like Palmer, though, could force Freeman to up his game in order to maintain his standing as the No. 1 quarterback.
Even if Freeman did solidify his position as the Buccaneers’ top passer – the most likely scenario – Palmer would provide some safety in the instance that Freeman fell to injury. He proved in 2012 that he can still produce at an NFL level and has a few years left in him before retirement really becomes an option.
The Buccaneers are geared up for a serious run in 2013. They’re working on a trade for Darrelle Revis, brought in a few solid free agents and have all of the pieces in place to make a legitimate run at the NFC South crown. Having a quarterback like Palmer on the roster not only will give them a quality backup; it’ll also give Freeman the kick in the rear end that he needs heading into a contract year.
While it seems like Palmer would be a good fit for the Buccaneers, the question still remains as to whether or not Palmer sees Tampa Bay as a team that he can imagine himself holding a clipboard for.
First and foremost, the Raiders must release him. Until then, no one will know for sure.