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How much 2012 cap relief does new Branch deal give Raiders?

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Oakland Raiders safety Tyvon Branch at 2012 mini camp (photo by Levi Damien)
Oakland Raiders safety Tyvon Branch at 2012 mini camp (photo by Levi Damien)

Tyvon Branch has reportedly just signed a new 4-year deal with the Raiders worth a maximum of $28 million with $17.1 million guaranteed. The figures are not completely clear but here is what we do know and how it could factor into the Raiders cap room in 2012.

Branch's deal is worth a minimum of $26.6 million over four seasons with incentives that could reach as much as $1.4 million. He received a signing bonus of $5.6 million which pro rates to $1.4 million over four seasons. The deal will pay Branch $16.1 million over the first two seasons.

At an average of about $8 million over the first two seasons of his deal, that should lower his 2012 cap number to about $4 million. That is the $5.6 million signing bonus plus $2.5 million in base salary with only $1.4 of the $5.6 million counting against the cap this season. $8.1 million in real money goes to Branch in 2012 with $3.9 against the cap.

With his franchise tag, his cap hit stood at $6.2. These new figures would offer $2.3 million in cap relief. The latest cap numbers before the deal had the Raiders coming in at right around $1 million under. That would put the Raiders $3.3 million under the salary cap.

That $3.3 million is plenty of money to bring in a free agent or two as the team heads into camp.

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