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 JimOTC@gmail.com