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Raiders Play Kick the Can with Tyvon Branch

In news less surprising than finding sleet on the ground in the northeast, the Raiders converted SS Tyvon Branch’s 2013 $6,000,000 base salary and $3,500,000 into a signing bonus to obtain more needed cap relief. With an original cap number for 2013 north of 10 million, it was widely expected from the onset of this contract the number would be renegotiated. While Branch’s 2012 wasn’t as stellar as his 2011 campaign (perhaps unsurprising given the circumstances), most Raiders fans are likely pleased with this move.

The conversion of Branch’s salary into guaranteed money lowers his cap hit by roughly $7,028,000, which in addition to the savings realized by yesterday’s Mike Brisiel deal, moves the Raiders to approximately $8,528,000 under the cap, with more moves sure to come. The move increases Branch’s cap number each year by an additional $1,757,000, which is a comparatively small number when juxtaposed to the recent restructures, such as that of former Raiders DT Richard Seymour but a rather massive number were it to accelerate.

It is likely that Branch’s stay will extend through at least 2014 due to the massive hit of accelerated money should he be released. The deal may be revisited around that time, because as Jason noted, the 2 years added are likely voidable due to their structure in order to further spread the newly guaranteed money’s hit, a recent staple of GM Reggie McKenzie’s “can kicking” maneuvers. None of Branch’s salary is assumed to be guaranteed after 2014, though the Raiders would be on the hook for $6,671,000 in dead money were he to be released then. Branch’s deal can of course be found here.

I’d also like to thank Jason and Andrew for their warm welcomes. I look forward to working with them and bringing enjoyable insight to you, the readers, and hopefully learning a bit myself going forward.


Jim can be reached at

Note: This post was edited after news was released that Branch also converted his $3,500,000 roster bonus for 2013

Mike Brisiel’s Not Quite Paycut

The postmaster brought along news yesterday that initially elated many Raider fans, but then gave way to many questions. It was announced right guard Mike Brisiel restructured his contract yesterday, a move that was originally speculated as a paycut, but turned out to be more of a standard slash and convert deal according to a release from his agent Jeff Sperbeck.

Brisiel converted $3,000,000 of his former $4,350,000 base salary into a guaranteed roster bonus, to be paid after the start of the new league year. While this lowered Brisiel’s 2013 cap number to $2,810,000 from $5,060,000, a savings of $2,250,000, it also added $750,000 to each of his remaining cap hits. Though this got the Raiders roughly $1,500,000 under the cap, it’s a seemingly strange move by General Manager Reggie McKenzie considering Brisiel’s notoriety of being a ZBS fit, the system the Raiders are moving away from, and Brisiel’s perhaps injury influenced poor performance in 2012.

The Raiders would have only been on the hook for $2,240,000 in dead money had they severed ties with Brisiel this offseason, and now if they deem him a poor fit going forward, would be on the hook for $3,930,000 in dead money after the season. Despite coming in less than his cap hit in 2014 of $5,310,000, it is an additional $1,690,000 of would be dead money, though the Raiders project to be in much better shape after the 2013 season and would likely be in a better position to absorb the hit.

Perhaps Mr. McKenzie sees something in Mike Brisiel that spurred him to work something out to give Brisiel another chance, or perhaps many other things one could only speculate on, but I’m sure we’ll be revisiting this contract one way or another come next offseason.

Mike Brisiel’s contract can be viewed here, and will be updated as more details roll in.


Jim can be reached at