USC has gotten a reputation for sending quarterbacks to the NFL who do not produce. Carson Palmer is the exception. While his career has not lived up to his status as a top overall selection in the Draft, he has generally been productive and at times among the most effective quarterbacks in the league. With Palmer due $13 million next year and potentially saving the cap strapped Raiders over $5 million with a cut, he might hit the market.
Palmer is a shell of the player he was at his peak, but that shell is clearly better than anything the Jets have and possibly better than anything else that will be available. His arm strength is not what it used to be because of age and injuries but is still adequate. He turns it over too much but at least makes plays to mitigate his mistakes to a degree. Palmer is currently in the same statistical areas as the other options for journeymen quarterbacks, around 60% completion percentage and 7 yards per pass, and a rating in the 80's.
The 33 year old would clearly be a stopgap. The upside is a bit better than the other possibilities. Perhaps he has a brief run where he recaptures his old glory like that year with Brett Favre in Minnesota. Maybe he does enough and Rex Ryan comes up with enough smoke and mirrors on defense for the Jets to surprise people. Next year looks pretty bleak. Taking a shot on something short-term while trying to catch lightning in a bottle is probably the way to go.
I would expect the Jets to look into Palmer seriously if he became a cap casualty. I think they should.