Update: Jason LaCanfora takes it one step further by confirming that the Raiders have already alerted S Tyvon Branch that they intend to use the franchise tag. Holy salary cuts, Batman! It’s going to be raining Raiders while they move to get under the salary cap. Welcome to the market, RB Michael Bush?
Update: Well call us wafflers, but it now appears that the Raiders do indeed intend to use their cap on S Tyvon Branch.
We reported days back that this was a likely use for the Raiders, but after revelations concerning the cap issues of the team, it was hard to figure how they could clear the space necessary to invoke the tag. Nevertheless, Christopher Hansen of RaiderBlog has confirmed that a knowledgeable source is confident that Branch will indeed be tagged.
Mike Florio takes a look at the Raiders salary cap situation over at Pro Football Talk. Though news of the Raiders’ $145M in cap commitment came as a bit of a surprise, Florio believes that they’ll reduce salary to meet the cap without too much trouble.
The Raiders can convert a significant amount of QB Carson Palmer‘s due salary to a signing bonus, clearing nearly $7M. LB Kamerion Wimbley is another whose contract begs attention, as he is due $11M next year. The LB could be released, unless he is willing to take a serious pay-cut to return.
There are a number of other areas where the Raiders can trim, so they will have a number of options in meeting the cap, but one upshot of their high commitment will impact their use of the franchise tag. There had been a good deal of speculation that the tag would be used to retain S Tyvon Branch, but any use of the tag now seems doubtful.