What Can the Raiders Do to Clear More Salary-Cap Space for 2015 Offseason?

One of the bright spots for the Oakland Raiders organization is the amount of cap space at its disposal in 2015. A whopping $50.271 million will be available to spend on impact players in the upcoming offseason.

General manager Reggie McKenzie should be aggressive when approaching the free-agent market. This approach suggests moving away from aging veterans in favor of more costly productive talent in its prime.

An approximate $50 million in cap space should allow the Raiders to show at least two players the bank when enticing high-end talents to play in Oakland. However, the front office can make two minor salary-cap moves to free up more cash in anticipation of landing a couple of star free agents.


Restructuring Tyvon Branch’s Contract

The highest-paid player on the Raiders’ payroll in 2015 will be Tyvon Branch based on the current contracts on the books. He’s owed $9.657 million.

Branch has played seven seasons in Oakland and had one decent season in 2010.

The veteran safety restructured his contract nearly two years ago to get Oakland under the cap, per Steve Corkan of the Bay Area News Group:

In the following two seasons, he has played a total of five games. In his absence, safety Brandian Ross has stepped into the starting lineup and made decent contributions. This season Ross caught two interceptions, had six passes defensed and forced a fumble in 10 starts.

Keep in mind that Charles Woodson is 38 years old. Oakland would place the secondary in a precarious situation if they were to release Branch despite his being ineffective in consecutive seasons.

In addition, the Raiders would still have to pay the safety $6.671 million in 2015 whether he’s on the roster or not. Nevertheless, his absence on the field doesn’t justify the hefty price tag. The Raiders brass should make a co...

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