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.