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Carson Palmer's contract: Arizona Cardinals have 'out,' but still take cap hit in 2014

While the Cardinals signed a pretty risk-free contract in terms of actual dollars, if they part ways with Palmer in 2014, there is still a decent cap hit.


The contract numbers for new Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer are in and they are pretty interesting. This season, the deal is quite cap friendly. Brian McIntyre breaks down the numbers for Yahoo! and shows that the Cards did some interesting contract writing to mitigate the cap hits.

The two-year contract as announced by the team, is actually a three-year contract, only that third year voids if he is on the roster five days after XLIX. If he isn't on the roster, then it wouldn't matter anyway.

So how much is Palmer getting paid?

His signing bonus was $6 million. He will make $2 million in 2013. He is slated for $8 million in 2014, $2 million of which guaranteed, meaning he will be paid that money even if he is cut. If, for some reason, the team and Palmer were to decide to change the language of the third-year void language, the 2015 salary would be $10 million.

With there being a third year written into the contract currently, the $6 million signing bonus is spread out over those year for the salary cap.

The ensuring cap numbers? In 2013, it is $4 million. In 2014, it would be $10 million. If the team were to cut him, they are out only $2 million in real money, but it would appear that the cap hit would be $6 million ($2 million guaranteed salary and $4 million left of signing bonus accelerated to that year).

My impression initially to what I had read and heard was that the contract would be much friendlier to the cap in 2014. However, to accommodate this year's cap, it sounds much more like the Cardinals fully intend on Palmer sticking around for two seasons and starting, rather than a simple one-year bridge to someone else, whether that be Drew Stanton or a guy they draft this year or next year.

With these numbers, does this change how you feel about the deal to land Palmer? It took very little in the trade and little in the way of actual financial risk, but there are some salary cap issues if they part ways after only one season.

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