Steve Corkran of the Bay Area News Group reports that Branch and the Raiders have taken the familiar step of paring down his base salary by converting it into a bonus that will spread out the cap hit over the remaining years on Branch’s deal. In addition, the team has added two more years to the deal Branch signed before the 2012 season.
Branch’s salary has dropped from $6 million to $715,000 in 2013 and he is now set to make $6.5 million in both 2016 and 2017. The two moves that the Raiders made this week have dropped them about $6 million under the salary cap with the pre-free agency negotiating window opening up in a couple of days.
There are expected to be more restructured contracts in Oakland with Corkran mentioning wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey and defensive tackle Tommy Kelly as possible targets. There’s also the case of quarterback Carson Palmer, who said earlier this week that it’s unclear what would happen if the Raiders asked him to cut his pay from the $13 million he’s slated to receive in 2013.