By the end of the week the Oakland Raiders will have made their annual pilgrimage to Napa as the first training camp of
the Reggie McKenzie era begins. There is no reason to think the Raiders won’t have their full compliment of players currently on the roster. However the fact of the matter remains that rookies Tony Bergstrom and Juron Criner are still unsigned.
Obviously McKenzie needed the cap relief offered by Tyvon Branch’s new deal in order to free up some cash. Prior to Branch putting pen to paper on his contract the Raiders were reported to be somewhere in the $1-million neighborhood as far as cap room goes.
With Branch foregoing the franchise tag and the salary that comes with it for a more cap friendly salary in 2012 the Raiders are said to have something in the $5-million range in cap room. That’s more than enough to get Bergstrom and Criner in camp on time. Bergstrom might have been Oakland’s top pick but he went 95th overall so it’s not like we’re talking about some contentious contract situation. Same goes for Criner who was picked 168th overall.
Even before the NFL instituted a rookie wage scale the Raiders were typically able to get their entire draft class under contract and in camp on time (#2’s hideous holdout notwithstanding). Even though this is a new regime in Oakland with different spending philosophies the odds of the team entering camp without its entire draft class signed and sealed are long.