Carson Palmer is under contract through 2014 and he will still be one of the NFL's highest-paid quarterbacks if he remains on the Oakland Raiders' roster from 2012-14. However, for the rest of this season, Palmer will make "just" 2.5 million, which is roughly $5 million less than the $7.44 million he was scheduled to make (prorated) over the remaining 10 games of this season. If he had played the entire season, Palmer's 2011 contract called for him to make $11.5 million, but he agreed to a paycut in order to make the trade from the Cincinnati Bengals happen. This was all outlined in a story by Adam Schefter on ESPN.com.
In 2012, Palmer will make $12.5 million, $5 million of which is guaranteed. Then in 2013, Palmer is scheduled to make $13 million. In 2014, his salary increases to a robust $15 million and one has to wonder if he'll even be on the Raiders' roster at that point. If he is, certainly they will re-structure his contract. He will be 34 years old then (almost 35) and there's no way a team -- even the Raiders -- will be willing to pony up $15 million for him at that point in his career.
As for whether I'm still elated and in disbelief that the Raiders were willing to give up a first-round pick and a second-rounder (that could turn into a first, although the Raiders making the AFC title game in either of the next two seasons is an extreme longshot) for Palmer, the answer is simple: Hell yes. Even Hershel Walker thinks Oakland gave up too much here. Course, that's what it was going to take to get Mike Brown to budge off his stubborn stance to not trade Palmer. The Raiders knew they had to overpay to get Palmer ... and overpay they did.