Two news stories with importance on the defensive side of the ball were announced today; here’s what I think of them.
Tyvon Branch, S, Franchise Tagged (Jason LaCanfora reported)
Branch is an athletic, young, tackling machine. This was the only option to the franchise tag that made sense for me. Others were calling for Michael Bush to receive it, but you simply can’t sink $13 million into the RB position (between McFadden & the would be franchise number for Bush) when your team is as strapped for cash as the Raiders are. Branch will receive $6 million this year, and provides some continuity for what looks to be a very different secondary in 2012.
Kamerion Wimbley, LB, will be cut if no restructure is agreed upon
The initial report, from Jason LaCanfora, said the Raiders would cut Wimbley if they couldn’t agree on a restructured deal. He’s set to make $11 million over the next four years each on average, $6.5 of which is guaranteed this year. So cutting Wimbley would only save $4.5 million this year, but would free up future cap space. A new league source has said Wimbley is open to listen to contract negotiations, despite a report to the contrary by LaCanfora. My ideal situation would be to find a suitor for the talented, if not inconsistent, linebacker, in hopes to receive some sort of compensation (on top of cap relief).
More in the future Raiders fans. The off-season is just starting to heat up.