There have been a lot of numbers thrown around for the Raiders cap situation. This post will try to compile information together for as clear a walkthrough as possible.
First, no one knows the exact number for the 2012 salary cap. According to PFT, the official number will be announced to the teams this next Monday. However, the number is expected to be approximately the same as the 2011 cap number, around $120 million.
A couple of weeks ago, it was disclosed that the Raiders had contracts above $145 Million - $145,774,984 to be exact at that time, according to CSN.
So, the Raiders were more than $25 million over the expected cap. However, as that last link also explains, one of the changes in the new CBA is allowing teams to carry over cap room that was unused the previous year. The Raiders had approximately $3.23 million in excess cap room from 2011.
This makes the remaining overages, at that time, at approximately $142.55 million, so approximately $22.55 million saved.
The Raiders then cut CB Stanford Routt. There are reports that the cap savings only equal $1.25 million but I was unable to confirm this number. I will, however, use it because it's the only number I've seen.
This cut put the Raiders at approximately $141.30 million dollars in contracts.
The Raiders next step was to announce they were going to franchise SS Tyvon Branch. That number added $6.2 million to the Raiders cap number.
Branch has not signed his tender at this time and there's always the possibility that he'll sign a long term contract soon, which could reduce his number. However, let's use his $6.2 million because the Raiders have to have that cap room to absorb his cap number when he signs.
The Raiders, at this point, were sitting at a number of $147.5 million in total salaries.
The team's next move was to restructured DT Richard Seymour and FS Michael Huff. These moves saved the team $11.82 million against the cap.
As the next link shows, Seymour's cap number moved down $5.98 million from $14.068M to $8.08M for 2012. Huff's cap number moved down $5.84M from $9.828M to 3.988M.
After this move, the Raiders total contractual liabilities stood at $135.68M.
GM Reggie McKenzie then came to an agreement with QB Carson Palmer to restructure his contract. As this link illustrates, Palmer's cap number dropped $9.34 million – from $ 12.5M to $3.16.
The team's contracts summed $126.34 at this time.
The next step was to cut players that had high contracts they would not be able to meet. The team cut CB Chris Johnson and FS Hiram Eugene, saving $6 million in cap room ($3.5 million for Johnson, $2.5 million for Eugene).
The team's total contracts now stood at approximately $120.34 million, which means that at this time, depending on the final number, it was already possible that the team had met the requirements to be under the cap.
But McKenzie wasn't finished. Last night the team announced they had restructured the deal of WLB Aaron Curry, turning his $5.7 million guaranteed contact into a more incentive-laden deal. While I've seen no official numbers, his saving's are expected to be $2– 3 million against the cap.
This means the Raiders are currently somewhere around $2-3 million under the salary cap.
They have not yet handled the Kamerion Wimbley contract situation – he's expected to either restructure or be cut. I take this as a positive at this time. If he was straight out refusing to restructure, he probably would have been cut at this time. Perhaps the team is trying to find a creative way to retain his services in 2012.
Another expected cut that has yet to happen is DT John Henderson. That would clear up $4 million in cap space, alone.
While the Raiders won't have a lot of money to throw around in free agency, they should be in a position to get some moderately priced veterans to help in 2012. It's also possible that they would be able to get a bigger name if that player would agree to a contract that didn't pay much in the first year of the contract.
Free agency starts on Tuesday March 13th at 4:00pm.
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