The Oakland Raiders have restructured the contracts of three highly payed players in the organization.
G Robert Gallery was set to make just under 9 million dollars in a combined salary this year.
Between his base salary, roster bonus and incentitives, Gallery would have been a 9 million dollar cap hit. The restructured deal will give him the same amount of money, but the cap hit will be under 1 million. The restructured deal puts most of his money into a signing bonus, which doesn't count against the cap.
RB Justin Fargas restructured his deal in much the same way as Gallery, as his cap hit would have been 5.3 million. He will also get the same amount of money, but his hit against the cap will be minimal.
The big news out of Oakland is the restructured deal that WR Javon Walker signed.
Javon Walker was due 4 million in base salary, and 5 million in a roster bonus. That hit would have been for 9 million this year. His new deal is for 2 million, with no roster bonus, so his hit will be for only the 2 million.
Â The rest of his contract was restructured also;
2010 season, previous contractÂ at 6 million, new contractÂ at 2.6 million
2011 season, Previous contract at 8 million, new contract at 3.2 million
2012 season, previous contract at 10 million, new contract at 4.4 million
This contract will save the Raiders over 21 million dollars.
Not only does this give the Raiders a great deal of money opened up for the 09 season and beyond, it also gives them reason to keep Javon Walker and see if he can rekindle some of the greatness he has shown in the past.
With a new found opening of cap space, the Raiders can start to be more active in the free agency market. This is not to say that they should, or will go on a spending spree, as Davis and the Raiders brass have said that they will be wise with their money this year. What it does do, is give them some room to address a few needs.
The Raiders have been doing some shopping on the free agent market, and a couple names have come up.
The only signing thus far has been OT Eric Pears, who spent the entire 2008 season on IR. He is a three year pro, but he will simply fight for a roster spot.
OT Khalif Barnes is the biggest name that the Raiders are chasing. They have been discussing a contract for some time now, and it appears to have broken down. However, that is not to say that it is a done deal, but it does put some doubt on the marriage. Barnes is looking for Left tackle money, but the Raiders will no doubt be looking at him in a right tackle position, which is a lower salary. Barnes would be a nice aquisition for this team, and it looks as though Barnes will have to drop his asking price to make it work.
If talks between Barnes and the Raiders is truly done, the Raiders will take a look at OT Marvel Smith. Smith has some injury conderns, so his asking price will be lower, but his health puts him at option number 2.
We are still in need of a center, so talks have been hadÂ for former Buffalo Bills center Duke Preston. He can also play guard, so his versitility can prove useful.
We still have John Wade, but his age puts his durability in question. One other name that has popped up, was former Raider Jeremy Newberry. Newberry is much the same type of player as Wade. They are both at the tail end of their careers, but have proven useful, if health can be kept.
QB Kyle Boller has been to Oakland to visit the Raiders, and although I don't think that he is needed here, the Raiders would like to add some more insurance to the quarterback position. This puts a scare into just how healthy Jamarcus Russell is post ankle surgery.
We have already signed QB Bruce Gradkowski, and Andrew Walter is still under contract, but Kyle Boller, and former Brown starter Charlie Frye has also been visiting.
If Boller or Frye are signed, look for Walter to be shown the door.
The Raiders have also resigned G Cooper Carlisle, TE Tony Stewart and LB Isaiah Ekejiuba.
Overall the Raiders have done a great job in this years offseason. We have resigned the players that we needed to, dropped the players that were expendable, and avoided the temptation to overspend in the free agent market. Added to that, we restructured deals to give us plenty of cap room to work with.
If we can go out and get guys like Khalif Barnes, Duke Preston, and perhaps a decent fullback, without overspending, we will be going into the draft on a very high note.
Nice work thus far out in Oakland California!
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Written by Lee Tremblay