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A Look at How the Oakland Raiders Can Avoid Salary Cap Issues

I'll be the first to admit that I've been freaking about the Oakland Raiders salary cap situation. There have been others, like brhynno, who have stayed much more upbeat and even keeled about the situation. Saying, "Don't worry. The Raiders are always over the cap and Al Davis works it out." 

There is no denying this fact. The difference this year is that there is so much time to contemplate the cap situation. I never really sat down and looked at the numbers before. The Raiders just worked it out before I even worried about it.

Jerry McDonald recently pointed out how the Raiders have avoided the cap woes:

It made sense, because they routinely entered the free agent market by playing the salary cap the way people refinance their homes. They simply extended contracts to their top players, cut their salaries to the minimum and spread bonus money out over the life of the deal to lessen the cap hit.

[Tim] Brown did it almost every season. There’s a certain amount of dead money created, but it isn’t difficult to keep playing the cap game and pushing debt into the next season without ever really being accountable or losing a chance to sign someone.

The thing about this is that looking over the Raiders 2011 salaries it was hard to find where they were going to extend players to limit the cap hits. But after McDonald's and Tim Browns's matter of fact confidence about their ability to do this, I am feeling better as well. So, let's take a quick look at player's they can renegotiate to allow for cap flexibility. Keep in mind, that these are all estimates, and the process is not nearly as simple as how I am explaining it. Also, obviously the players don't have to agree to this. But this gives us an idea. After the jump....


Darren McFadden:

McFadden is due $7.055 million. So let's say they take him down to the minimum salary. They'd have to give him roughly $7 million in a signing bonus for him to get the same amount in 2011. Extend that over seven years and you get...

Savings: $6 million

Tommy Kelly:

Kelley is on the books for just over a $7 million cap hit. Almost $2 million are from his signing bonus. His salary is $5.5 million. The Raiders could give him a $5 million bonus and a minimum salary to equal his 2011 number and combine that with the already  $2 million bonus cap number and you get...

Savings: $3 million

Richard Seymour:

The Raiders just signed Seymour so this would seem a little odd, but all of his guaranteed money came in the form of salary, and comes with a $15 million salary for 2011. The Raiders could turn that into a signing bonus, sign him for seven years, and give him a minimum salary for 2011 and...

Savings: $12 million

Kamerion Wimbley:

We've talked about this before, but this is probably the easiest. Wimbley is currently on the franchise tag. That has him on the hook for just over $11 million in 2011. The Raiders could give him a $14 million signing bonus and sign him to a seven year contract, and bam...

Savings: $9 million

That is $30 million in savings right there, and there other moves to be made. I am feeling better by the second. And I am getting stoked for the season.


For a look at, and links to, all the day's Raider news, and AFC West and NFL highlights, be sure and check out our daily edition of Pirate Booty.

Also check out why Skip Bayless thinks Nnamdi Asomugha will re-sign with the Raiders.