By Steve Corkran
Tuesday, March 12th, 2013 at 6:36 pm in Oakland Raiders.
The Raiders entered Tuesday $8.5 million under the salary cap. Releasing free safety Michael Huff, wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey and defensive lineman Dave Tollefson freed up an additional $8.75 million in cap room.
Factoring in the Raiders re-signing cornerback Phillip Adams to a one-year contract, the Raiders are flush with approximately $16 million in cap space for 2013, even though they have an astonishing $32 million in dead money — money accounted for on players no longer on the roster.
The Raiders saved the following amounts with their three roster moves Tuesday: $5.34 million on Heyward-Bey, $1.79 million on Huff and $1.6 million on Tollefson.
That’s the positive news. On the downside, the Raiders lost a player some considered their best all-around defensive back — Huff played free safety and cornerback for the Raiders last season — and one of their most productive wide receivers at a time when they are thin at that position.
Worse for the Raiders, outside lineback Philip Wheeler signed with the Miami Dolphins and defensive lineman Desmond Bryant hooked on with the Cleveland Browns. Bryant and Wheeler were two of Oakland’s most consistent players last season.
In other words, the Raiders have some money to spend and a ton of needs to spend it on. They can free up even more money by releasing or restructuing the likes of quarerback Carson Palmer, linebacker Rolando McClain and defensive tackle Tommy Kelly.
For those wondering why the Raiders didn’t cut McClain on Tuseday, it’s simple: They didn’t have to and there’s still a chance, albeit slim, that another team will pony up a late-round draft pick for McClain.
Hey, it’s worth a shot.