With struggling teams already reaching a climax to their deflating postseason chances, some have already begun establishing lists of players that could be released following this season, largely due to salary considerations.
Fortunately for the Cincinnati Bengals, there aren't any ridiculously inflated contracts, save for maybe Domata Peko ($7.2 million in base salary over the next two years) and Andrew Whitworth ($19.1 million through 2015); though they're not that big, compared to their relative production. Along with having one of the league's most efficient cap numbers, six of the team's top-eight contracts this year come off the books when this season concludes.
That being said, a former Cincinnati player that could find himself on the outside; someone once viewed as a franchise quarterback. Joel Corry, a former sports agent currently a contributor with the National Football Post, writes that former Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer could be headed for the "chopping block" due to his salary against production (namely wins).
The Raiders gave the Cincinnati Bengals their 2012 first-round pick and 2013 second pick (becomes a first-round pick if Oakland goes to the AFC Championship game) for Palmer last season because he was viewed as the missing piece to a playoff berth. Instead, the Raiders have a 6-10 record since acquiring him. The 2003 number one selection has thrown for 4,485 yards with 20 touchdowns and 20 interceptions in those 16 games. If the 2-4 Raiders’ fortunes don’t improve, they could be in line for a pick high enough to draft their quarterback of the future in April. Reggie McKenzie, who was hired as general manager in January, does not have a vested interest in Palmer. Since the Raiders will have major cap problems in the offseason, McKenzie might welcome the $5.995 million of cap relief (and $9.34 million in dead money on the cap) he can get from pulling the plug on Palmer, who has a $15.335 million cap number and $13 million salary in 2013.