The Oakland Raiders elected against using the franchise tag on any of their prospective unrestricted free agents before the window to do so closed the March 4th deadline. Meaning that Richard Seymour, Desmond Byrant, Shane Lechler and other will hit the market.
Last season, the Raiders placed the franchise-tag designation on strong safety Tyvon Branch. A move that was necessary since he was one of their better defensive starters.
Resulting with him eventually signing a long-term contract after signing the one-year deal. A franchise player makes the average of the five top paid players at their respective position from the prior season.
This season the Raiders didn’t not use the franchise tag on any of their 17 potential unrestricted free agents. In reality this doesn’t mean the Raiders aren’t involved in negotiations or not interested in bring back several of those player.
What it means is that the organization didn’t see a possible reason for paying at the going rate of the franchise designation.
In fact the team has until March 12th to work out contracts with these players. Linebacker Philip Wheeler and tight end Brandon Myers make the most sense to keep.
Also, Oakland freed up cap space by restructuring Mike Brisiel contract, which reduces his base salary for 2013 from $4.35 million to $1.35 million.