When new General Manager Reggie McKenzie took control of the Oakland Raiders in January, he declared that several other players on the roster had salaries that were “out of whack.”
The Raiders were far over the salary cap coming into this offseason, leaving their hands tied.
The first casualty was cornerback Stanford Routt, who was released – and then quickly signed with AFC West rival Kansas City.
Now, defensive tackle Richard Seymour and safety Michael Huff have reportedly agreed to highly restructured deals that will keep them on the roster, but give the Raiders some breathing space.
According to ProFootballTalk.com, Seymour’s 2012 base salary will be cut from $7.5 million to the league minimum of $925,000, with the remainder of $6.575 million to be paid to him as a roster bonus, which doesn’t count against this year’s cap. Huff reportedly has agreed to have his 2012 base salary cut from $4 million to $700,000, with the remainder paid to him in bonus money. Another season was added to Seymour’s deal, and two more years added to Huff’s.
NFL.com reports the two moves free nearly $12 million in cap space on Oakland’s roster, with the team also now in negotiations with linebacker Kamerion Wimbley to restructure his deal. Wimbley is owed $6.5 million in 2012, reports Jason La Canfora of NFL.com.
Jerry McDonald of the Bay Area News Group had reported that Oakland was anywhere from $10 million to $20 million over the salary cap, which is projected to be in the $120 million range for the coming season. Another report had the Raiders nearly $30 million over after placing the franchise tag on safety Tyvon Branch.
Quarterback Carson Palmer, whom McDonald reports is owed $12.5 million this coming season, could also be a candidate for a restructured agreement. Other players who might need to restructure their contracts include defensive tackles Tommy Kelly and John Henderson, linebacker Aaron Curry, corner Chris Johnson and safety Hiram Eugene.
The San Francisco Chronicle’s Vittorio Tafur reports center Samson Satele, a free agent, is not expected to be re-signed, meaning last year’s rookie guard, Stefen Wisniewski – who played center at Penn State – could return to that position.
The big challenge might be Wimbley, reports Bill Williamson of ESPN Wimbley, who’s reportedly been told he will be released if he doesn’t agree to a pay cut, but he may play hardball. And, as a pass-rush specialist who can be an impact player – he had seven sacks last season – he may be popular on the open market.