Jason La Canfora has Tweeted and Pro Football Talk reported that the Oakland Raiders will place their franchise tag on safety Tyvon Branch. According to La Canfora the team has informed Branch of the news.
The tag number for safeties is said to be in the $7-million neighborhood so for Branch it is a nice pay raise if only for one year. Hopefully this is just a temporary solution and the Raiders will work to get Branch under contract for the foreseeable future. There is no doubt this was a necessary move. Branch is one of the building blocks upon which Dennis Allen will reconstruct the Oakland defense.
The move comes as somewhat of a surprise to this blogger who didn’t see Reggie McKenzie as the franchise tag type. However given the Raiders current cap situation, which is nastier than the taste in Lindsay Lohan’s mouth on a Sunday morning, it seems very reasonable that they’d alleviate some drama by putting a set price on Branch now while working out the details on a deal later.
One man’s joy is another’s pain however. This also means somebody has got to go. With the Raiders well over the cap and Branch getting a raise that only indicates more slashing must be done.
Stanford Routt was already fired and Kamerion Wimbley is currently in the crosshairs. Michael Huff could be next in line. This also mean the Raiders won’t be using the tag on Michael Bush who is looking more likely to hit the open market. Either that or the Raiders are getting really creative in finding ways to pay Bush too.
But we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. For now it’s nice to know McKenzie and Allen aren’t making such radical moves that they’d allow one of their best and most professional players to walk away.