Oakland Raiders Cut More Players to Make Salary Cap: Fan’s View

The NFL has a Tuesday, March 13 deadline for teams to comply with the league's salary cap. The system is put in place to equalize the playing field financially, so teams with deep pockets can't simply buy the best players, leaving teams with less resources no access to the high dollar players. Many professional sports have similar systems in place, I'm a fan of Formula 1 racing, which has something called the "Resource Restriction Agreement," designed to do the same thing.

Surface of an American football ball.
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In their latest moves to stay under the salary cap, the Oakland Raiders cut two players on March 9. The team released cornerback Chris Johnson and safety Hiram Eugene. The moves save the team $6 million from their 2012 payroll. I don't think either player will be missed, Johnson only played four games in 2011 before an injured hamstring took him out for the season and Eugene missed the entire season due to a hip injury.

Last week it was re-structuring time, with the Raiders re-structuring the deals of safety Michael Huff and defensive tackle Richard Seymour. With Seymour, the team cut his 2012 salary from $7.5 million to $925,000, the league minimum. The $6.75 million remaining was turned into a "roster bonus" that the NFL treats like a signing bonus, as far as the salary cap goes. I think the system is broken if they just can just move the numbers around, the cap really isn't serving its purpose. Seymour's contract was also extended by a year, to allow more time to prorate the bonus, he will now be with the Raiders through the 2016 season.

For Huff, it was some of the same voodoo economics. His $4 million 2012 base salary is now $700,000 and balance is now going to be a roster bonus, combined with an existing bonus to give him a $7.3 guarantee. He also got a two-year extension, keeping him in Oakland through the 2014 season.

Just these two changes with Huff and Seymour save the Silver and Black $11.82 million in salary, which is a big number. To save money, the team also released cornerback Stanford Routt, only after the first year of his enormous $54.5 million deal.

The other big deal was done with quarterback Carson Palmer, which saved the team about $9 million on the books. The Raiders changed his $12.5 million 2012 base to $825,000, then gave him a $11.68 million roster bonus which can be prorated like a signing bonus. I think it's a great deal for Palmer, who had only $5 million guaranteed before the change and now has the full $12.5 million coming.

Although born and raised with Eagles fans in Philadelphia, Freddy Sherman has always been a citizen of Raider Nation at heart. Since his dad got him a signed George Blanda football as child, to meeting Lyle Alzado in the 1980s, he hasn't looked back. Follow him on twitter @thefredsherman

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Updated Sunday, Mar 11, 2012