The Raiders surprise move today which sent wide receiver Louis Murphy to the Panthers carries with it some positives. The trade was for a conditional seventh round pick which isn't ideal compensation, however for Murphy who was likely going to be buried on the Raiders depth chart this season, getting anything in return for him is good. But that's not all the Raiders receive.
The Raiders will also receive some salary cap relief. Murphy was in the last year of his rookie deal and was set to make $1.26 million this season in base salary-his largest paid season. Combined with his prorated signing bonus has his cap his for this season at $1.37 million.
The Raiders already had around $5 million in salary available. With this trade, they now have over $6 million and as much as $6.5 million.
Also, being that the trade was for a future pick and not another player, it opens up another roster spot. The Raiders now have three open roster spots as they head into camp on the 29th of this month. And yes, I am including the two unsigned rookies.
One of those unsigned rookies is Juron Criner. He and rookie undrafted free agent Rod Streater complete what is a deep receiving corps for the Raiders. With such a store of wide receivers, trading one away was a smart move. Now they can use that roster spot on a position much more in need.
Positions in need include tight end, linebacker, and running back. Three positions in which there are many good players still available.
RB Cedric Benson, RB Ryan Grant, LB EJ Henderson, LB Gary Brackett, and TE Visanthe Shiancoe are the best fits at those positions still available as free agents.
I can see the Raiders signing at least two of those players with the third player being a cheaper, lower profile player.
The team has five days until players are to report to Napa for training camp. I expect those three roster spots to be filled by then.