2012 NFL Free Agency: Updating the Oakland Raiders Cap Space

It's no secret that new Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie has worked diligently to navigate his team under the NFL's salary cap threshold. It's involved the release of such veterans as Kevin Boss, Stanford Routt, Chris Johnson and a number of others that leave the Oakland roster thinner on talent than it was heading into last season.

McKenzie has kept an eye on replacing those pieces, however, finding the resources to sign a number of low-risk, medium-reward veterans to help keep Oakland competitive in 2012.

The Raiders won't pick until the compensatory portion of the upcoming NFL draft, which means that the money they'll need to have available for their selections doesn't approach that of a team like New England, who will pick four times in the first two rounds.

However, the Raiders will still need to clear space to sign their rookies to deals, as the team currently sits just $29,341 under the cap.  No, that's no typing error, the Raiders are less than $30,000 away from the allowable spending limit. 

It's an amazing total, one that is indicative of the team's previous spending habits. But it's also one that suggests McKenzie will remain busy restructuring deals for veterans this offseason, much like he has already done with Carson Palmer, Michael Huff and Richard Seymour. 

Given the fact that all of the six players drafted ahead of him in 2009 have already had their contacts modified, receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey could be a candidate to alter his deal, which runs through 2013 and will pay him close to $13 million over the next two seasons. 

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