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.


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