On Reggie McKenzie’s desk there is likely a calendar with the date of Tuesday, March 13th, circled in red ink. That is the date for which all NFL teams must be in compliance with the 2012 salary cap. After applying the franchise tag to Tyvon Branch last week the Raiders were close to being $30-million in the red. Obviously some serious accounting and roster moves had to be done.
Not to fear. The Raiders are routinely in this position. It has become an annual tradition for pricey players to be cut or have their deals restructured.
Once such player is Kamerion Wimbley whose bloated salary is ripe for either removal or an overhaul. Earlier this week it was reported that the Raiders and Wimbley had opened talks on the possibility of redoing his deal. Last night word spread that both Richard Seymour and Michael Huff had agreed to change some of their roster payments in order to get the team into cap compliance. Reportedly the redistribution of payments for the aforementioned men will shave a solid $12-million off of Oakland’s current cap figure. So there is still plenty of heavy lifting to be done.
While it is nice to know veteran players such as Seymour and Huff are willing to play ball it should be noted that this is all a temporary solution. Come this time next year more of the same will have to be done. Consider these salary restructurings nothing more than grace periods extended by the player representatives.
The only way to truly purge these salary problems will be for the Raiders to rid themselves of these contracts all together. Such was the case with Stanford Routt.
Seymour’s services are badly needed. It just wouldn’t make much sense to cut a team captain even in the sake of saving dollars. While no other team would have paid the same amount for Seymour there is no doubt that his presence alone brings much more to the Raiders than simply what he does on the field.
As for Huff, it would appear Dennis Allen likes what he sees. Perhaps all these years Al Davis was trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Allen’s recent chat with Huff must have gone a long way in convincing McKenzie to keep Huff around.
This news is encouraging. For once the Raiders have an open line of communications between the coaching staff and front office.
Of course all of this salary shuffling will only get the Raiders into a place where they can conduct NFL business. It’s not like just because there is cash available it guarantees it will be spent wisely. Attracting the right type of talent via free agency is a completely different ball game. A game I’m sure McKenzie is up for.