Report: Raiders, Tyvon Branch making progress toward contract

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Raiders safety Tyvon Branch has signed his franchise tender for the 2012 season, but he’d still like to sign a long-term deal with the team and, like those who haven’t signed their tenders, only has until July 16 to do it.

The Raiders have expressed an interest in a longer commitment as well and a report out of Oakland maintains that Branch and the Raiders are making progress toward that goal. Paul Gutierrez of CSNBayArea.com spoke to sources who told him that “progress is indeed inching along, even as it appears to be a stalemate.”

There have been other reports this offseason that put the team’s closer to a new contract and none of those have amounted to much of anything. If the pace doesn’t move beyond inching along in the next couple of days, there’s probably not much chance it will happen. That would be too bad for Oakland since getting a deal done would likely help the Raiders get a bit of cap relief.

They are just about a million dollars under the cap, so reducing Branch’s cap figure from the $6.2 million tender figure would help them out a fair amount. The Titans signed Michael Griffin to a five-year, $35 million deal after franchising him at the start of the offseason, a contract that probably created some framework for the Raiders and Branch to work off as they try to find common ground on a new contract.