The Raiders confirmed that they signed promising S Tyvon Branch to a long term deal Saturday evening, continuing a promising offseason. Branch's deal is reportedly 4 years and $17.6 million guaranteed and is worth a maximum of $28 million. The terms of the contract were not announced or confirmed by the team.
Branch had previously been franchised and had signed his franchise tag to appear at the team's mandatory minicamp in June. Had the team not agreed to a long term deal by tomorrow, June 16th, he would have been required to play under the franchise tag which would have cost the team approximately $6.2 million not only in money but also against the cap.
Instead, under the new contract, Branch will reportedly take home $5.6 million in a signing bonus and his cap number will drop dramatically for 2012 giving the cap-strapped Raiders nearly $4 million in cap savings for this year.
Branch, 25, has been very promising since being taken in the 4th round of the 2008 draft. He converted to play Safety in the NFL after being a CB in college at UConn. He has yet to be an actual star in the NFL but the team hopes that aquiring a defensive minded head coach in Dennis Allen and an up and coming defensive coordinator in Jason Taver will help him reach his potential.
TFDS has reviewed Branch's tape, as well. You can find his Tale of the Tape, here.
this is fantastic news for the Raiders.. Not only has he been the most consistent players on the defence since he was drafted (nnamdi was thrown to so little, not sure it counts) but he has probably been the most reliable player on the whole team in that time.
As you say Asher he is yet to be a star... but as the much maligned Hue Jackson said, and in this, it is very true. We do not shout about the safety position. It is not a position that gets a lot of mentions but Branch is one of the best Safeties in the NFL. (not exact words but very similar)
I believe he is one of the top 4 safeties in the league and I am thankful that this hasn't really been highlighted as I think, when you look what the Chargers paid Weddle and that Branch is a better player, we got away with a bargain!.
I can't stress how much I love this!
Branch is actually getting a lot more love around the league recently. Been a few articles about his ability to shut down TEs - limiting Gronk to one 15-yard catch last year and shutting Gates down also.
So stoked by this signing BTW!