Originally written on Thoughts from the Dark Side  |  Last updated 3/10/12

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JANUARY 03: Quarterback Carson Palmer #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals calls a play during the game against the New York Jets at Giants Stadium on January 3, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

2012 Free Agency begins next Tuesday, March 13th at 4pm. The fourth in a series of looks at positions the Raiders may target.

2011 Starters:
Initially: Jason Campbell
Week 9+: Carson Palmer

Offseason Moves so far: none

On the Roster:
Carson Palmer
Terrelle Pryor



Practice Squad: Rhett Bomar - signed to a reserve/future contract 1/7/12

Restricted Free Agents: None

Unrestricted Free Agents:
Jason Campbell
Kyle Boller

Projected 2012 Starter: Carson Palmer

Outlook:
The Raiders have their QB of the present in Carson Palmer. He looked as good as could be expected last year with having no training to get accustomed to receivers and learn the offense. He improved virtually every week.

If he can take that and continue to work with the receivers this offseason, he has the potential and talent to be a top 10 QB. He's the best QB – in terms of skills and leadership – that the Raiders have had since Rich Gannon.

Terrelle Pryor may or may not be the QB of the future. I'm going to say probably not but we'll know a lot more about his abilities once he gets his first training camp this offseason.

He has a good arm and is a very athletic player but there are questions about his accuracy and pocket presence.

Whatever Pryor's future holds, he's a developmental project and isn't ready to be the #2 QB behind Palmer. Backup QBs are very important as the Raiders learned last year when Jason Campbell went down.

If there's one position I absolutely would be shocked if it weren't addressed in Free Agency, it's backup QB. The other positions are higher immediate needs but they could each be addressed in the draft.

However, it's not likely the Raiders are going to want Pryor and a rookie as the two options, so look for the Raiders to try to get someone who can come in and be able to know how to handle the situation if Palmer gets injured.

Some players that would be possibilities are Chad Henne, David Garrard, Tyler Palko, David Carr, Rex Grossman and maybe Kyle Orton if he'd accept a backup role.

Another option I'd like would be Dan Orlovsky. I live in Indy and saw most of the Colts games last year and he looked like an ideal backup. He had the skills to win some games for the Colts and showed good movement and pocket presence. He won't mind being a backup and he won't be expensive.

Who do you want the Raiders to sign, if anyone, this free agency period?

Ask me questions or tell me what you think on Twitter @AsherMathews

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