Adjusting Brisiel’s Contract One of Cost-Cutting Moves the Raiders Must Make

The Oakland Raiders restructured the contract of right guard Mike Brisiel, according to Steve Corkran of the Bay Area News Group. Brisiel lowered his base salary from $4.35 million to $1.35 million, which gives the Raiders an additional $3 million in salary cap savings in 2013.

Brisiel saved the Raiders about the same amount of money by restructuring as he would have if the team had just released him. In return, Brisiel probably got some form of a guarantee.  After Richard Seymour’s deal voided, McKenzie started by restructured his biggest free-agent acquisition from a year ago, but there is still plenty of work to be done.

The Raiders are reportedly $1.5 million under the salary cap of $123 million salary cap after Brisiel’s restructuring. This is the first significant move the Raiders have made this offseason, and starts Year 2 of the great purge. In Reggie McKenzie’s first season as general manager he dumped Stanford Routt, Chris Johnson and Kamerion Wimbley for salary cap purposes.

The Raiders can gain additional cap space by releasing or restructuring the contracts of Carson Palmer, Tommy Kelly and Darrius Heyward-Bey. The Raiders could save $16.1 million by just releasing those players per figures, but should try to reduce their cap numbers with the goal of keeping them on a roster.

Restructuring a contract and trying to keep a productive player is a worthwhile endeavor for the Raiders because the roster currently sits at just 46 players and is short of starters. Even after signing exclusive and restricted free agents, the Raiders will need to add 36 players to the roster to reach the roster limit by training camp.

For every player released, the Raiders will also have to find a replacement. The Raiders don’t have the resources to replace four starters with comparable free agents. At best, the Raiders will be able to afford a few free ...

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