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Raiders confirm Branch signing

The Raiders tied up one loose end heading into training camp by agreeing to terms with franchise free agent strong safety Tyvon Branch to a reported four-year deal worth $17.6 million in guaranteed money and a maximum value of $28 million.

The Raiders confirmed the deal Saturday evening, without referring to terms of the contract, after it had been reported earlier by CBS Sports and the NFL Network.

Had Branch not received a multi-year deal by Monday, he would have played for the approximately $6.2 million figure as a franchise free agent and then faced free agency again next year.

According to Scout.com, citing league sources, Branch gets a $5.6 million signing bonus and will be paid $16.1 million over the first two years of the deal.

Branch’s signing will free up money under a tight salary cap for the Raiders to bring in an additional player or players if desired.

They have yet to announce deals with third-round draft pick Tony Bergstrom, a guard out of Utah, or wide receiver Juron Criner, a wide receiver from Arizona, although the Raiders had room to bring in both players whether Branch signed a multi-year deal or not.

With Branch’s deal netting as much as $4 million in cap savings, speculation will immediately turn to veteran running back Cedric Benson. Although unconfirmed by the club, Benson has been speculated as a heavy-legged successor to the departed Michael Bush.

Benson, 29, has gained 3,429 yards over the last three seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, although he has averaged under 4 yards per carry in each of the last two years.

Entering his fifth season out UConn, Branch, who has at team-high 337 tackles over the past three seasons, was much improved in coverage in 2011 after being occasionally victimized in 2009 and 2010.

Should Branch, 25, blossom in the new defensive system as installed by coach Dennis Allen and defensive coordinator Jason Tarver, Branch will come at a bargain rate considering what he would have been worth a year from now.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • hwnrdr

    R8ER MIKE Says:
    July 18th, 2012 at 10:18 am
    Hwnrdr.. whats good today brother ??

    Oh you know, same ol, same ol! Trying to get through the day!

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Party like a responsible rockstar!
    LOL

  • RaiderRockstar

    Tyvon Branch’s new contract gives us 5.159 million in cap space.

    ***

    woohoo!

    nice work, BigMac

    I think Reggie will sit on his hands for a while and wait to see what he has, before rushing out to sign any FA’s

    Also – a few more talented players [than whats currently sitting in the FA pool] may be released at 1st or 2nd roster cutdown time, prior to the start of regular season … but those players wont know our offense/defense and would be forced to learn on the fly like Palmer & Curry last season

  • hwnrdr

    Agreed Rockstar! And you can’t teach talent :)

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    I’m not saying a worker shouldn’t try to improve his income/ status in the company/ industry, but do it right. Go to school, get certificates, work harder, etc… And then ask for more money.

  • DutchRaider77

    Tyvon Branch’s new contract gives us 5.159 million in cap space.

    ***

    woohoo!

    nice work, BigMac

    I think Reggie will sit on his hands for a while and wait to see what he has, before rushing out to sign any FA’s

    Also – a few more talented players [than whats currently sitting in the FA pool] may be released at 1st or 2nd roster cutdown time, prior to the start of regular season … but those players wont know our offense/defense and would be forced to learn on the fly like Palmer & Curry last season

    __________________________________________________

    Yeah, kinda like when Housh got cut from the Seattle Seahawks b/c he refused to take a pay cut and got his guaranteed money and a very small contract from the Ravens.

  • http://raiders.com Seymour Bush

    I think Reggie will sit on his hands for a while and wait to see what he has, before rushing out to sign any FA’s
    =================================

    No doubt. You have to expect injuries in camp. It’s something that is going to happen. To have the ability to sign a late cut that could fill a huge void is something that would be foolish to give away at this point.

  • RaiderRockstar

    @Dutch & Hwnrdr

    Reggie seems like a responsible guy. I don’t think he’s gonna go all out for big names, just because he has the funds now.

    Like a squirrel, he may just stash a few acorns away for later when they are needed.

    If an injury occurs, then we’ll be able to get a quality player and not a scrub off of somebody elses practice squad.

  • hwnrdr

    Like a squirrel, he may just stash a few acorns away for later when they are needed.

    Probably best line of the day!

  • guest123

    Why not sign Visanthe Shiancoe to a minor deal? Reggie’s got the cap space for it easily. Even if he’s the 4th read on any play, he’s un upgrade both blocking and receiving over Myers, Ausberry or Gordon. It’s definitely a glaring weakness that can be solved with the stroke of a pen.

  • DennisAllensVisor

    We dont need Visante Shiancoe.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Why not sign Visanthe Shiancoe to a minor deal?

    ***

    @G123

    please read my last 2 comments. thank you

  • guest123

    We dont need Visante Shiancoe.

    ********

    Yet we DO NEED a 4th string RB.

  • DennisAllensVisor

    guest123 Says:
    July 18th, 2012 at 11:08 am
    We dont need Visante Shiancoe.

    ********

    Yet we DO NEED a 4th string RB.

    —-

    We MIGHT need an injury-insurance RB, sure.

  • guest123

    RRS,

    Wait and hope is not a plan. Raiding other teams trashbins isn’t a plan. They are evaluated and rejected for a reason. There aren’t any dummy GM’s who throw away good players. Instead of hope and change strategy, why not go after a proven commodity that is sitting out there now. Before someone get hurt in camp and his value goes waaaay up. Time to buy is right now.

  • guest123

    We MIGHT need an injury-insurance RB, sure.

    ********

    So we carry 6 RB’s and 3 TE’s? Knowing that Knapp’s WCO system relies on frequent 2 TE sets?

  • TxRaider210

    I say we let Bedric Censon go to the Jets..seems he’d be a fine fit there, personality wise.

  • The Big Banana

    Like a squirrel

    —————

    Reggie is a tree rat? Say it ain’t so!

  • DennisAllensVisor

    guest123 Says:
    July 18th, 2012 at 11:11 am
    We MIGHT need an injury-insurance RB, sure.

    ********

    So we carry 6 RB’s and 3 TE’s? Knowing that Knapp’s WCO system relies on frequent 2 TE sets?

    —-

    4 RBs / 2 FBs / 3 TEs

    Yes.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Knapp’s WCO system relies on frequent 2 TE sets

    ***

    @G123

    who was the other guy paired with Zach Miller (pass catching TE) in Knapp’s last OC stint here?

    Myers. Right?

    who says Ausberry/Myers can’t get it done in 2012, just the same?

  • RaiderRockstar

    Raiding other teams trashbins isn’t a plan. They are evaluated and rejected for a reason. There aren’t any dummy GM’s who throw away good players. Instead of hope and change strategy, why not go after a proven commodity that is sitting out there now

    ***

    @G123

    how many PROVEN players has Reggie added this offseason? how many weren’t undrafted, late round picks or rejects from other teams?

    we re-signed & restructured a few of our own guys, but outside of that I don’t see many big names.

  • The Big Banana

    How much would Henderson cost? He made 6 mill last year.

  • DennisAllensVisor

    The Big Banana Says:
    July 18th, 2012 at 11:29 am
    How much would Henderson cost? He made 6 mill last year.

    —-

    Dont know.. imagine somewhere around 3?..

    I want to see what Goethel & Stupar can do before we sign a MLB.

  • http://raiders.com Seymour Bush

    Other than the Charles Woodson signing 7 years ago Green Bay is not a “big splash” in free agency type of team. Green Bays has a small market mentality of building through the draft and adding select free agents that are late rounders or undrafted entirely. Expect that here and not trading away draft picks for “Randy Moss” or “Jivin’” Walker type of players that can’t or don’t want to play. Those days are gone.

  • http://raiders.com Seymour Bush

    I want to see what Goethel & Stupar can do before we sign a MLB.
    ========================================

    The Raiders were very high on Goethel the last two years before he got hurt. He was a very pleasant surprise. Let’s see how it goes this year.

  • The Big Banana

    I was thinking around that neighborhood too, DAV. We may have time on that one as it appears he’s looking for substantially more than teams are willing to pay.

  • RAIDERMAN99

    The two Raiders I’m most anxious to see in pre-season are Taiwan Jones and Pryor.

    Jones, because his flash against the Saints last year leads me to believe he’s got off the charts ability and can absolutely be a star in the NFL. Flash in the pan ? Pre-season fluke ? Don’t think so and looking forward to some verification pretty soon.

    Pryor, because I really have no idea how his game will translate in the NFL or if he can throw the ball at all. Hopeful that Pryor shows some indication of being close to ready. I’m convinced Matty Lice is a complete scrub and waste of time. I hope Pryor gets substantial work in the pre-season.

  • DennisAllensVisor

    4-3:

    Shaughnessy Curry
    Seymour McClain
    Kelly Wheeler
    Houston

    3-4:

    Burris
    Seymour McClain
    Kelly Curry
    Houston Goethel/Burnett

  • DennisAllensVisor

    We really dont have room for a LB, unless an injury occurs. Or 1 of them just really blows.

  • TxRaider210

    DennisAllensVisor Says:
    July 18th, 2012 at 11:40 am
    4-3:

    Shaughnessy Curry
    Seymour McClain
    Kelly Wheeler
    Houston

    3-4:

    Burris
    Seymour McClain
    Kelly Curry
    Houston Goethel/Burnett

    ————
    Any chance Houston could play the NT position? He is a massive dude at 6’3 305..

  • DennisAllensVisor

    TxRaider210 Says:
    July 18th, 2012 at 11:42 am
    DennisAllensVisor Says:
    July 18th, 2012 at 11:40 am
    4-3:

    Shaughnessy Curry
    Seymour McClain
    Kelly Wheeler
    Houston

    3-4:

    Burris
    Seymour McClain
    Kelly Curry
    Houston Goethel/Burnett

    ————
    Any chance Houston could play the NT position? He is a massive dude at 6′3 305..

    —-

    For sure, im just going by what DA has said, Kelly is his NT in a 3-4.

    That whole DL outside of Shaughnessy is interchangeable.

  • DennisAllensVisor

    And then you have to factor in Ivey as a NT if he makes the team.

  • TxRaider210

    DAV
    Yeah I hear ya man, DA knows his stuff it seems. Could be sweet to let Houston try the NT position with Seymour and Shonasty either side of him.

  • DennisAllensVisor

    TxRaider210 Says:
    July 18th, 2012 at 11:46 am
    DAV
    Yeah I hear ya man, DA knows his stuff it seems. Could be sweet to let Houston try the NT position with Seymour and Shonasty either side of him.

    —-

    I just dont know if I like Shaughnessy in a 3-4.

    Not really an OLB, dont know if he can play DE in it either.

  • TxRaider210

    3-4

    Seymour/Burris
    Houston/McClain
    Shonasty/Goethel
    Wheeler

  • DennisAllensVisor

    When I think of 3-4 DEs & OLBs I think of Justin Smith & Terrell Suggs…

  • RaiderRockstar

    We really dont have room for a LB, unless an injury occurs. Or 1 of them just really blows.

    ***

    @DAV

    I know that a bunch of Raider fans are high on Burris, Stupar & Burnett – but they are just rookies

    I’d be surprised if even one of these kids produces in 2012. Gonna have to contribute on special teams

    Heck, the verdict is still out on all 3 starting LB’s!

    plus that slow, injury-proned white guy in his 3rd year out of Arizona State

  • TxRaider210

    DAV
    Yeah that would be my question mark on Shonasty also..I’m sure they’ll try a variety of packages during the pre-season.

  • DennisAllensVisor

    TxRaider210 Says:
    July 18th, 2012 at 11:51 am
    3-4

    Seymour/Burris
    Houston/McClain
    Shonasty/Goethel
    Wheeler

    —-

    Wheeler looked too small to play 3-4 OLB, but if he can his speed would be nice.

  • DennisAllensVisor

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    July 18th, 2012 at 11:51 am
    We really dont have room for a LB, unless an injury occurs. Or 1 of them just really blows.

    ***

    @DAV

    I know that a bunch of Raider fans are high on Burris, Stupar & Burnett – but they are just rookies

    I’d be surprised if even one of these kids produces in 2012. Gonna have to contribute on special teams

    Heck, the verdict is still out on all 3 starting LB’s!

    plus that slow, injury-proned white guy in his 3rd year out of Arizona State

    —-

    Yea, I just dont see RM bringing in these youngsters just to sit em in favor of a vet and not see what he has.

    The level of talent between them and any available FAs isnt that great to make a move.

  • TxRaider210

    DennisAllensVisor Says:
    July 18th, 2012 at 11:53 am
    TxRaider210 Says:
    July 18th, 2012 at 11:51 am
    3-4

    Seymour/Burris
    Houston/McClain
    Shonasty/Goethel
    Wheeler

    —-

    Wheeler looked too small to play 3-4 OLB, but if he can his speed would be nice.

    ———
    Yeah he is lighter than he’s listed, that’s for sure. I know that Burris is a rookie, but the intensity he plays with, along with his great instincts should make him a solid contributer this season.imo

  • RaiderRockstar

    Any chance Houston could play the NT position? He is a massive dude at 6′3 305

    ***

    LaMarr is a 4-3 UT , just like Seymour, Kelly & Bryant

  • TxRaider210

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    July 18th, 2012 at 11:57 am
    Any chance Houston could play the NT position? He is a massive dude at 6′3 305

    ***

    LaMarr is a 4-3 UT , just like Seymour, Kelly & Bryant

    —–
    Thanks for clearing that up…I don’t know all the little things that coaches see that determine those types of decisions.

  • TxRaider210

    RR,

    So in our 3-4 formations, will we use TK or Ivey at NT?

  • RAIDERMAN99

    By NFL standards, 6’3″ and 305 isn’t exactly massive.

    The conventional first impulse when considering a player’s suitability for manning the nose is to go for size. Just makes sense that a behemoth is harder to move and more likely to stuff the run.

    That’s why Ivey is a candidate.

    However, Reggie Kinlaw proved that massive size isn’t mandatory if you’ve got great strength and quickness.

    I think Houston could do the job at NT.

  • DennisAllensVisor

    For sure, Houston is one of the strongest guys on the team. Great hands, could see him play NT if needed.

    Not everydown, but thrown in, sure.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Yea, I just dont see RM bringing in these youngsters just to sit em in favor of a vet and not see what he has.

    ***

    me neither, DAV

    thats not what I was suggesting

  • TxRaider210

    RAIDERMAN99 Says:
    July 18th, 2012 at 12:04 pm
    By NFL standards, 6′3″ and 305 isn’t exactly massive.

    The conventional first impulse when considering a player’s suitability for manning the nose is to go for size. Just makes sense that a behemoth is harder to move and more likely to stuff the run.

    That’s why Ivey is a candidate.

    However, Reggie Kinlaw proved that massive size isn’t mandatory if you’ve got great strength and quickness.

    I think Houston could do the job at NT.

    ————-
    That’s what I started thinking since the guy plays with such leverage. He doesn’t seem to get the sack number off of the edge, so maybe NT or DT is more suitable for him..

  • TxRaider210

    numbers*

  • DennisAllensVisor

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    July 18th, 2012 at 12:06 pm
    Yea, I just dont see RM bringing in these youngsters just to sit em in favor of a vet and not see what he has.

    ***

    me neither, DAV

    thats not what I was suggesting

    —-

    Just dialogue.

    I wasnt debating or anything.