$26 Million Over The Salary Cap

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CAP CUTS BOTH WAYS
$26 MILLION OVER THE SALARY CAP
The Raiders are the most over the cap of any team and are prepared to cut several players in the very near future.
- Nancy Gay, Chronicle Staff Writer
Thursday, March 2, 2006



With no NFL labor agreement in sight, the Raiders developed a plan on Wednesday to slash their roster in anticipation of what could be a smaller-than-expected $94.5 million salary cap for this season.

Among the expected moves, the team will waive starting nose tackle Ted Washington, and starting guard Ron Stone, among several other players. And a change at quarterback is in the offing, too.

Washington, who turns 38 next month, has been a 16-game starter the past two seasons with the Raiders and has proven himself to be one of the team's most durable and consistent defensive players, despite his age and injury history.

But Washington is scheduled to earn $4.75 million in salary and bonuses this season. His departure will save the Raiders $1.759 million against the 2006 cap.

Stone, 34, started 16 games for the Raiders in 2005, but was limited to five appearances in '04 because of chronic knee problems. His departure will save the team $2.76 million against the cap.

The Raiders also are expected to part ways with fullback Zack Crockett, 33, ($2.079 million in savings), who had been with the team since 1999, as well as nickel cornerback Denard Walker ($4.29 million saved), a former Broncos starter who had been inconsistent in his two seasons in Oakland. In 2005, Walker played in nine games and had two tackles.

Earlier, the team declined the 2006 option for often-injured safety Derrick Gibson, resulting in $9.397 million in cap savings.

The departure of these players would whittle $20.285 million off the Raiders' original 2006 cap payroll of about $116 million, putting Oakland about $700,000 over the low-end $95 million cap.

The deadline for cap compliance is 9 p.m. PST today and the waiver period, during which teams terminate contracts, was extended by six hours and runs through 7 p.m. today. Free agency starts Friday.

Quarterback Kerry Collins, whose cap value for '06 is $12.898 million, remains with the Raiders but he's expected to be among the cuts later today -- mostly for economic reasons.

Amy Trask, the Raiders chief executive, is in New York meeting with other NFL owners and executives, hoping to come up with an agreement with the National Football League Players Association and extend the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), which expires at the end of the 2007 season.

NFL teams have been operating under so-called "Plan A" and "Plan B" scenarios the past few weeks, depending on whether there is an accord with the

NFLPA.
If both sides agree to an extension of the CBA before the start of the NFL calendar year on Friday, the 2006 salary cap could rise as high as $109.5 million.

If there is no extension, the NFL's final capped year is 2006 and the cap stays at about $95 million. Either way, Collins is too expensive. His departure would save the team $9.197 million against the '06 cap.

Without Collins, the Raiders could pursue another quarterback through free agency, possibly Drew Brees, Steve McNair or Daunte Culpepper, who isn't expected to collect the roster bonus the Vikings have promised him and probably will be released.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/chronicle/archive/2006/03/02/SPGPGHH7E11.DTL
 
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