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Steelers offer proof of escaping from salary cap hell

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The Raiders entered this week nearly $30 million over the salary cap, once you factor in the $6.2 million they have to account for by placing the franchise tag on strong safety Tyvon Branch. Teams have until Mar. 13 to be in compliance with the cap.
No team is in worse shape than the Raiders when it comes to the salary cap. However, it wasn’t long ago that the Pittsburgh Steelers were in an even worse situation.
Today, the Steelers are about $12 million under the projected $120 million cap. They got there by paring more than $40 million from their cap in about a month’s time.
This isn’t to say that the Raiders can follow the Steelers blueprint because the Steelers saved $14.26 million of that $40 million by cutting five aging, expensive players.
The Raiders don’t have many of those kinds of players, with weighty contracts, on their roster, with the possible exceptions of defensive tackle John Henderson ($4 million salary), cornerback Chris Johnson ($3.5 million) and safety Hiram Eugene ($2.5).
Therefore, they will have to rely upon restructuring the contracts of starting players such as quarterback Carson Palmer, defensive tackles Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelly, outside linebacker Kamerion Wimbley and wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey.
The Steelers saved more than $25 million by restructuring the contracts of five players — Ben Roethlisberger, LaMarr Woodley, Lawrence Timmons, Willie Colon and Ike Taylor.
The aforementioned Raiders players with sizable contracts for 2012 can restructure in ways that could save the Raiders most of what they need to save between now and the 13th.
As of Tuesday night, the Raiders had yet to submit any restructures to the league office. General manager Reggie McKenzie is spearheading the heavy lifting in terms of reworking contracts, and he isn’t sharing any of his notes.
Suffice, McKenzie will prevail upon a handful of players with sizable contracts that they need to help out right away, in exchange for a little extra spending cash down the road.
Wimbley will be the toughest one for McKenzie to iron out, given Wimbley is guaranteed $6.5 million of his $11 million salary for 2012, and he stands to recoup the $4.5 million difference, and thensome, if he balks at a restructure, gets released and hits free agency.
The good news for the Raiders is, they still have time. All they need now is cooperation from their players. Before long, the Raiders will be just like the Steelers, under the cap and ready to spend again.

Follow me on Twitter: @corkonthenfl

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Steve Corkran

  • CanuckRaider

    It couldn’t happen here…

  • hendu

    Lets see,Who is the starting QB of the Oakland Raiders? Yup,Carson Palmer,HAHA,Deal with it,sick of the whining,be it Mystic or B,youve got youre OPINION,Ive got mine,period.ps,some agree with Mystic,some agree with me,let 12 play out,then lets talk again!

  • YoungAmerican
  • YoungAmerican

    The Oakland Raiders have restructured the contracts of defensive tackle Richard Seymour and Michael Huff, according to Brian McIntyre of Mac’s Football Blog.

    Seymour lowered his $7.5 million fully guaranteed base salary to the league minimum ($925,000) with the remaining $6.575 million converted to a guaranteed roster bonus that will be treated as a signing bonus for salary cap purposes. Seymour’s adjusted base salary is fully guaranteed and another season, with a $7.5 million base salary and $7.5 million roster bonus, was tacked onto Seymour’s contract to allow the roster bonus to be prorated over the maximum allowable number of years (five).

    The move reduces Seymour’s cap number from $14.068 million to $8.808 million, a cap savings of $5.98 million for the 2012 season. Seymour’s cap numbers in 2013-15 will increase from $17.818 million to $19.133 million.

    Huff’s base salary base salary was reduced to $700,000, which is fully guaranteed, with the remaining $3.3 million combined with his $4 million roster bonus to create a guaranteed $7.3 million roster bonus that will be treated like a signing bonus for salary cap purposes. Two additional years with $4 million base salaries and $4 million roster bonuses were added to allow the 2012 guaranteed roster bonus to be prorated over five seasons.

    Huff’s restructured contract lowers his cap number from $9.828 million to $3.988 million, clearing $5.84 million in cap space for the 2012 season.

  • Thec

    I would not want to see manning going to the broncs.
    They will need to improve the oline for pass protection as the current oline is built for run only…

    We will give him the business….

  • RaiderDebo

    54.YoungAmerican Says:
    March 7th, 2012 at 5:27 pm
    The Oakland Raiders have restructured the contracts of defensive tackle Richard Seymour and Michael Huff, according to Brian McIntyre of Mac’s Football Blog.

    Seymour lowered his $7.5 million fully guaranteed base salary to the league minimum ($925,000) with the remaining $6.575 million converted to a guaranteed roster bonus that will be treated as a signing bonus for salary cap purposes. Seymour’s adjusted base salary is fully guaranteed and another season, with a $7.5 million base salary and $7.5 million roster bonus, was tacked onto Seymour’s contract to allow the roster bonus to be prorated over the maximum allowable number of years (five).

    The move reduces Seymour’s cap number from $14.068 million to $8.808 million, a cap savings of $5.98 million for the 2012 season. Seymour’s cap numbers in 2013-15 will increase from $17.818 million to $19.133 million.

    Huff’s base salary base salary was reduced to $700,000, which is fully guaranteed, with the remaining $3.3 million combined with his $4 million roster bonus to create a guaranteed $7.3 million roster bonus that will be treated like a signing bonus for salary cap purposes. Two additional years with $4 million base salaries and $4 million roster bonuses were added to allow the 2012 guaranteed roster bonus to be prorated over five seasons.

    Huff’s restructured contract lowers his cap number from $9.828 million to $3.988 million, clearing $5.84 million in cap space for the 2012 season.

    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@2

    LOL! The myth of “salary cap Hell” blown to bits once again. When will some of you dorks quit whining and crying over what other men make for a living???? Pathetic!

  • Thec

    Mad props to B reppin the NATION at the city council meeting today…

    B <—–True RAIDER

  • PurpleDrank81

    Glad to hear that Huff and Seymour restructured……Now Palmer and Wimbley need too and if DHB is too high he needs to do it too…. Cut Big John,Chris Johnson and Hiram Eugene

  • PurpleDrank81

    I defintely dont wanna see Manning twice a year…

  • YoungAmerican

    LOL! The myth of “salary cap Hell” blown to bits once again. When will some of you dorks quit whining and crying over what other men make for a living???? Pathetic!

    ——————-

    Why is it a myth? The only reason cutting and restructuring players is necessarily is BECAUSE of the salary cap situation. It was never in doubt that the Raiders would get under it. But the question was how the Raiders would alter their roster and existing contracts to do so, and the question remains if they’ll be able to make enough moves with the contracts they already have to be active players in free agency.

  • Just Fire Baby

    When will some of you dorks quit whining and crying over what other men make for a living???? Pathetic!

    *****************************

    This is the stupidest fkn thing ever.

    The GM cares about it, so us fans care about it. The GM cares about it, because it matters as to how the team performs, as do all of us.

    No salary cap hell? Who do you think from the FA lists will we will sign this offseason? Do you think we want to pay Wimbley $6.5 million dollars to leave? You think McKenzie really wanted to increase Seymour’s salary cap number in the years ahead?

    If understanding the cap and it’s ramifications on your 53 man roster are over your head, than fine, but get out of the way than.

  • RaiderDebo

    58.PurpleDrank81 Says:
    March 7th, 2012 at 5:35 pm
    Glad to hear that Huff and Seymour restructured……Now Palmer and Wimbley need too and if DHB is too high he needs to do it too…. Cut Big John,Chris Johnson and Hiram Eugene

    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    The way Palmer played last year, he better walk into Reggie’s office and offer to cut his salry in half. He is easily the top candidate on team for a pay cut.

  • PurpleDrank81

    We will be under the cap for sure but it’s scary to think that were not gonna have the money to be big players in free agency and we dont have to many picks either…. This upcoming season is going to be very interesting…Im not to worried about the offense but this defense is scary and not in a good way….No CB’s and mediocre linebackers it could be a long season

  • bcz24

    JFB, I just watched the community meeting, I have to agree, B did a great job.

    On to restructures… I read the article about Huff and Sey restructuring, but nothing has been turned in to the NFL yet, so take those reports with a grain of salt for now. Seymour was in the final year of his contract, so he couldn’t restructure it. They could have extended him and written a new contract, but I am not sure they would have given him a contract paying 20 million dollars 2 years from now on a declining player… those numbers dont add up to me. Huff’s seems more reasonable, seems like they may have added a year, but again the numbers seem a bit out of whack. Guess we will have to wait and see until the official transactions are released by the NFL

  • M Lonetree

    PurpleDrank,

    other than bringing in Ted Hendricks as a big (signing/trade) acquisition (Plunkett was brought in off the scrap heap for nothing), what other FA or trade or anything has brought the Raiders to a Super Bowl title?

    the answer is ZERO.

  • bcz24

    Seymour lowered his $7.5 million fully guaranteed base salary to the league minimum ($925,000) with the remaining $6.575 million converted to a guaranteed roster bonus that will be treated as a signing bonus for salary cap purposes. Seymour’s adjusted base salary is fully guaranteed and another season, with a $7.5 million base salary and $7.5 million roster bonus, was tacked onto Seymour’s contract to allow the roster bonus to be prorated over the maximum allowable number of years (five).
    ******************
    The reason I am not holding much credence to this article is this part about adding one year but prorating his bonus for 5 years. You can only prorate bonus money over the life of the contract up to a max of 5 years, but not to exceed the years on the contract. There is no way they signed him to a 4 year extension at 15 mil a year.

  • YoungAmerican

    M Lonetree Says:
    March 7th, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    PurpleDrank,

    other than bringing in Ted Hendricks as a big (signing/trade) acquisition (Plunkett was brought in off the scrap heap for nothing), what other FA or trade or anything has brought the Raiders to a Super Bowl title?

    the answer is ZERO.

    ————–

    Jim Plunkett
    Willie Brown
    Lyle Alzado
    Mike Haynes
    Rich Gannon
    Jerry Rice
    Eric Allen

  • YoungAmerican

    Sorry – Gannon, Rice, and Allen did not WIN a title, but were key cogs in getting the Raiders back to the Superbowl. Romanowski, too.

  • edward teach

    The reason I am not holding much credence to this article is this part about adding one year but prorating his bonus for 5 years. You can only prorate bonus money over the life of the contract up to a max of 5 years, but not to exceed the years on the contract. There is no way they signed him to a 4 year extension at 15 mil a year.

    ********************************************************

    The article mentions that one more year was added to the deal, which makes me think that the five-year rule can be satisfied retroactively to the beginning of the contract.

  • M Lonetree

    YA,

    you are correct. Always think of Willie B as the quintessential Raider and forgot the Bronco stuff.

    I mentioned Plunkett in case you cannot read, but he was a nothing acquisition. no team wanted him.

    I’ll give you Haynes but Alzado was only a function as was Bill Pickell.

  • M Lonetree

    As for ReggieMc, I don’t believe the Packers went for (in FA or trade) any big name QBs, RBs or WRs during his 20 years in that org.
    use the example.

  • Chris in NY

    Just Fire Baby Says:
    March 7th, 2012 at 5:19 pm
    Manning is Elway’s “Get out of Jail free card” from the Tebow drama.

    Manning is about the only NFL QB the Bronco’s could get that would get some of the fanbase (and it won’t be all, some of those crazy bastards would rather Tebow over Peyton) to relax on not keeping Tebow.

    —————————————–

    This is a great point. Could be Elway’s only way out of being forced to start Tebow for the next few years. And if they get Manning, they could probably even ship Tebow to Jacksonville for a 2nd round pick or better.

  • YoungAmerican

    As far as free agency goes, there are always mid-tier options who end up being solid contributors. Hell, Jim Washburn was the only one who wanted Jason Babin, and then Babin blew up last season.

    The idea is finding guys who fit what your team wants to do – regardless if they’re “big money” signings or low-dollar vet minimum types. And with few draft picks, the Raiders will certainly be on the lookout for players who fit the bill.

  • bcz24

    The article mentions that one more year was added to the deal, which makes me think that the five-year rule can be satisfied retroactively to the beginning of the contract.
    ********************
    Bonus money cant be prorated backwards though. If there is one more year on the deal then you can only prorate your bonus money out one more year.

  • M Lonetree

    Manning to Luck or Mirer to JaWalrus.
    Wow.
    What’d a POS town like Indy ever do to deserve that?

  • da trinity

    Way to help the team Huff, I think he will flourish in the system which shouldn’t leave him playing single high all game.

  • da trinity

    @74
    I could be wrong but I could have sworn Seymore restructured his deal last year to help free up space for wimbley.

  • da trinity

    I think he restructured it to a 5 year deal

  • da trinity

    Again could be wrong

  • r8eray

    The Raiders have restructured FS Michael Huff and DT Richard Seymour’s contracts to clear nearly $12 million in salary cap space.
    Seymour’s deal was overhauled, essentially giving him a brand new five-year, $37.5 million contract that is unlikely to last beyond 2012. (His salary shoots from $925,000 in 2012 to $7.5 million in 2013.) Huff morphed his $8 million in 2012 salary and roster bonus into a base salary of $700,000 plus a “signing” bonus of $7.3 million. Both players will be with the Raiders in 2012.
    Related: Richard Seymour

  • Red Bearded Raider

    cut Wimbley,cut Kelly,cut Henderson,cut C.Johnson.Bring in C.Finnegan,M.Manningham,London fletcher,Mario Williams.There you go…Playoffs.

  • YoungAmerican

    Finnegan and Mario Williams alone would cost about $30 million. Unless the Raiders can go from $20 million over the cap to more than $30 million under it, it’s not going to happen.

  • RaiderDebo

    68.YoungAmerican Says:
    March 7th, 2012 at 5:59 pm
    Sorry – Gannon, Rice, and Allen did not WIN a title, but were key cogs in getting the Raiders back to the Superbowl. Romanowski, too.

    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    What about Charlie Garner, Tyrone Whaeatley and William Thomas?

  • YoungAmerican

    Yep, those guys too. Good call.

  • Just Fire Baby

    William Thomas wasn’t on the Super Bowl team.

  • RaiderReggie

    3.Chris in NY Says:
    March 7th, 2012 at 4:24 pm
    Not to cheese off you A’s fans, but I wouldn’t mind seeing them leave the Coliseum so that we could finally get rid of that ridiculous dirt infield. Most HS teams don’t even have to play with that nonsense.
    ——————————————————-
    Chris, I totally agree. The Raiders need a football stadium ONLY so they can come into the 21st century. I think we are the only PROFESSIONAL football team that have a baseball infield.

  • Oakland1

    Payton Manning will not go to the Broncos. Besides does anyone even know where he is at physically? Can he even still play ball?

  • Just Fire Baby

    Because of the dirt infield, we use go on the road more to start the season.

    The league hates that stuff.

    I bet they will try to limit it to 2 games this year, and if they could do it, just 1.

    Raiders will go on the road 2 of the first 3 weeks, and 3 of the first 5.

  • Hardline

    Manning is not coming west. He’ll stay in the east or retire. After the injuries he suffered, and the vertebra fusion, he would be wise to retire.

  • Macho Man Randy Savage

    cut henderson, kelly,cj,eugene, romax, wimbley

  • uglyorc

    The reason I am not holding much credence to this article is this part about adding one year but prorating his bonus for 5 years. You can only prorate bonus money over the life of the contract up to a max of 5 years, but not to exceed the years on the contract. There is no way they signed him to a 4 year extension at 15 mil a year.
    ————————————————

    Great point. Details on contracts are rarely released so its still likely they agreed to something. It could mean that the bonus is only prorated 2 years or it could mean that its a 5 year contract that is realisticly only a 2 year deal.

  • bcz24

    We shouldn’t have had ANY games on the dirt this year, the A’s were done before our home opener in week 3, yet whoever is in charge elected not to sod the field until week 5

  • BewareofRaiders

    We should be cleaning house like the steelers are whats the hold up

  • raidertay

    They have until March 13 and you end with

    “the good news for the Raiders is, they still have time.”

    Did I miss something??

  • Just Fire Baby

    Was the dirt still on the field for the Browns game?

  • uglyorc

    Payton Manning will not go to the Broncos. Besides does anyone even know where he is at physically? Can he even still play ball?

    —————————————–

    Time to start some rumors about Allen being secretly involved in bountygate. I dont want to see Manning with the Donkeys or even worse the Chefs.

  • Just Fire Baby

    When the A’s are 50-80 going into the last month of the season, maybe they can go finish the season out in Sacramento with their AAA team.

  • Vegas,

    I’m trying to see/ hear B speaks, but the link is not working for me. It said content not available online.

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Seymour restructuring just buys some time for this year. Still owe him a ton of money down the road and there will be a bullet to bite on his luxurious pay.

    I hope Michael Huff has taken a pay cut. He is not worth anywhere near the $8 million+

    At the end of this, Wimbley or Kelly won’t be on this roster at the start of next season.

    Removing Routt and one of these two will be a good start to cleaning up this raggedy defense.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Don’t know what to tell you O, I am not a tech-guy.

    It worked for me and others.