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Tyvon Branch extension reportedly in the works

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When the Raiders gave safety Tyvon Branch the franchise tag there was a belief that the two sides would work toward a long-term deal.

That still seems likely. Steve Corkran of the Bay Area News Group reports that deal between Branch and the Raiders is “in the works right now.” Getting the deal done would be a positive move for the Raiders and general manager Reggie McKenzie on two fronts.

It would lock up a productive safety for several years and it would also provide the Raiders with cap relief at a time when they are still dealing with bad contracts handed out by the old regime. Branch has started all 48 games for the Raiders over the last three years, rating highly as a run stopper on a team that’s struggled in that department. He doesn’t turn 26 until December, so a multi-year deal would ensure the Raiders keep him through the prime years of his career.

The franchise tag for a safety this year is $6.22 million. Reaching a deal with Branch would lower the cap hit for this year, something that might give the Raiders room to add more help before camp opens this summer, and would lock in their spending at a key starting spot for years to come.

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21 Responses to “Tyvon Branch extension reportedly in the works”
  1. joetoronto says: Apr 4, 2012 11:37 AM

    Awesome, this will free up some much needed cap room.

    Branch will be a top 5 safety by the end of this year.

  2. mjbulls45 says: Apr 4, 2012 11:43 AM

    old regime is also who drafted the guy

  3. marshawnlynchlookslikepredator says: Apr 4, 2012 11:47 AM

    Good move.. He isn’t a big name or household name outside of Raider Naton, but he is a very talented player who continues to improve. Possibly a breakout year with running a more modern defense .

  4. tank187 says: Apr 4, 2012 11:48 AM

    Nice move lets get the deal done. RAIDERS!!!!!!!!!!

  5. thraiderskin says: Apr 4, 2012 11:50 AM

    a really solid safety, even though I know it is a new guy doling out the checks, I can’t but worry he will get overpaid.

  6. torturedraiderfan says: Apr 4, 2012 12:21 PM

    Good move. Too bad they couldn’t get the deal done sooner. The Raiders might have been able to hold onto Bush and Wimbley.

  7. silvernblak says: Apr 4, 2012 12:25 PM

    Sweet move to lock in Tyvon! This dude looks like another Hall of Famer in my book and i think RM sees that too. Otherwise why not cut him loose? RM has shown no fear of letting go of little names with huge contracts so to speak. That’s exactly what we need is a locked in safety for years to come that produce like TB does. Now if we can just take care of the other 10 positions in front of him with a lock down sealed tight D I smell A serious run for the Lombardi Trophy! Reggie is bringing in some key pieces of the Raider Nation puzzle that has been missing for years. Not to mention the cap space this would provide for another key contract. OLB would be a good start as well as a still soft O line on the right side. We don’t need Palmer going down in week 5 due to no protection! Love what your doin RM and we in the black hole and all Raider Nationites got yer back!!! welcome home brotha…..Just Win BABY!!!!

  8. socalraider909 says: Apr 4, 2012 12:32 PM

    Get it done Reggie, he’s our best defensive player he deserves the money

  9. donnyscott says: Apr 4, 2012 1:14 PM

    His cap number is only 6.2 million. How much cap space do you think you’re going to free up? Unless you backload most of it creating another bad contract!

  10. fivefivenine says: Apr 4, 2012 1:31 PM

    I still remember before he was a starter at safety, he was a gunner on the punt team and would get to the returner before the ball usually did. Even when he had a club on this guy was unblockable and has the speed to get downfield in a hurry. Glad to see he’ll be bringing that tenacity to the secondary for years.

  11. joetoronto says: Apr 4, 2012 1:32 PM

    donnyscott says:
    Apr 4, 2012 1:14 PM
    His cap number is only 6.2 million. How much cap space do you think you’re going to free up? Unless you backload most of it creating another bad contract!
    ***************************************************
    It’ll free up 6.2 million, which is about 6 million more in cap space they have right now.

    At least they’ll be able to sign the players they draft in the later rounds.

  12. spinmovr says: Apr 4, 2012 2:34 PM

    Smart move to take away all question marks around Tyvon Branch. He’s the only trustworthy guy in OAK’s defense. During the 2010 and 2011 seasons he continued to get better and by this time next year, he’ll be the leader of that defense. Seymour will be gone/irrelevant and Tarver and Allen will have seen just how good Branch can be. When the Raiders start running a modern defense in 2012, teams are going to be shocked at the talent that’s been in place all this time.

    From now on we won’t be covering the best WR in the league with a slow MLB and a backup backup free agent safety with the game on the line.

  13. donnyscott says: Apr 4, 2012 3:02 PM

    @joetoronto….unless you’re paying him nothing I don’t understand your math.

  14. pftfanatic says: Apr 4, 2012 3:35 PM

    joetoronto says: Apr 4, 2012 1:32 PM

    It’ll free up 6.2 million, which is about 6 million more in cap space they have right now.

    ________________

    It won’t “free up” $6.2 million. It will free up the difference between $6.2 million and his new annual salary. For instance, if he signs a straight 4 year $20 million contact, it will free up $1.2 million (difference between the current $6.2 obligation and the new $5mil annual salary).

  15. toolnutz says: Apr 4, 2012 3:54 PM

    donnyscott,

    You structure the contract so Branch gets paid minimum base salary in 2012 and pay the rest in signing bonus. The cap hit would be the minimum salary. The current franchise tag of 6.2 mil is all against the cap, so if the minimum salary is 900k, the freed up space would be >5 M.

    One negative to this is Branch get the signing bonus right away without playing a single down.

  16. mark916 says: Apr 4, 2012 5:23 PM

    He wouldnt get the whole 5 mil ayear at one time. They will break it down into a minimum and signing bonus, besides, Branch has earned his money. I have no problem with him and Reggie coming to terms on a longer contract.

  17. mark916 says: Apr 4, 2012 5:25 PM

    Even if it is like 1-2 mil more for our cap space, its better than nothing and could help sign anohter much needed FA.

  18. mark916 says: Apr 4, 2012 5:31 PM

    Branch is the fastest and toughest and smartest S on the team. That isnt saying alot, but he hits like Mitchell and is fast like Huff. If Huff would just start tackling then he could be really good. Huff is talking real big so far, about him running through brickwalls. Lets see if he still feels the same when he gets on the field. He made some good tackles before I dont why he isnt more consistent.

  19. zymurge says: Apr 4, 2012 7:13 PM

    You structure the contract so Branch gets paid minimum base salary in 2012 and pay the rest in signing bonus. The cap hit would be the minimum salary. The current franchise tag of 6.2 mil is all against the cap, so if the minimum salary is 900k, the freed up space would be >5 M.

    ===

    Nice try, but it doesn’t work that way. You can’t dodge the cap counting by moving salary to bonus, you can only move it across the years.

    The cap hit is the current year salary plus the signing bonus divided by the number of years on the contract. That way the bonus is amortized across all years equally.

    So if Branch were given a 4 year deal for say $1M per year salary and a $20M signing bonus (total of $24M across 4 years is about what it would take to get him to walk away from $6.2M this year) then his cap hit is:
    $1M salary + $20M/4 = $6M per year

    Now what teams often do to backload the deal in order to get the current year under the cap might look something like:

    Bonus: $10M
    2011: $1M
    2012: $2M
    2013: $4M
    2014: $7M

    That’s the same $24M over 4 years, but the cap hit is different per year. The signing bonus hit is $2.5M per year, so in 2011 his total hit is $3.5M (saves about $3M this season) while in 2014 the hit becomes $9.5M.

    The reality is that come 2014, he’d be either cut or asked to restructure again, spreading that same $9.5M out over the next couple of years, depending of course at what levels he’s playing at.

  20. zymurge says: Apr 4, 2012 7:15 PM

    Oops, was off by a year in my example. I guess I forgot that it is already 2012. :-)

  21. murfdeezy says: Apr 4, 2012 10:44 PM

    …and if I’m not mistaken, the only real difference between salary and bonus is the bonus is guaranteed money. Still counts against the cap…but they get it regardless of whether they are released. That’s’ kind of what was going on with Jawalrus and Wimbley. They owe them the bonus regardless of whether they cut them, but if they cut them before a certain date…the team can save the salary figure. I don’t work for NFL network…but I think that’s how it works. Go Raiders. Love Branch. I agree we won’t save much in cap space, but who cares. I’m just souped to have our best defensive player hanging around. Thank god.

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