Raiders pass on using franchise tag

Raiders pass on using franchise tag
March 4, 2013, 1:00 pm
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The Raiders could ask QB Carson Palmer to take a pay cut as he is due to make a base salary of $13 million. (AP)

As expected, the Raiders took a pass on utilizing the franchise tag on one of their 17 unrestricted free agents before Monday's 1 p.m. PT deadline.

The business now, then, continues with general manager Reggie McKenzie figuring out what to do with said free agents, as well as the Raiders' one restricted free agent and their seven exclusive-rights free agents before the NFL's new league year begins on March 12.

Per the NFL Network, the salary cap for 2013 will be $123 million, up from $120.6 million in 2012, and according to ESPN, the Raiders were still $800,000 over the cap on Friday morning.

[REWIND: Where might Raiders use the franchise tag?

So where to start trimming? As suggested in this space three weeks ago, the Raiders could ask quarterback Carson Palmer to take a pay cut as he is due to make a base salary of $13 million, with a cap number of $15.335 million, a year after restructuring and being paid the league minimum for his base salary last season.

Plus, there are more than a few prime cap-savings cut candidates with the likes of defensive tackle Tommy Kelly, receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, offensive lineman Mike Brisiel and defensive end Dave Tollefson, not to mention linebacker Rolando McClain, who would actually cost the Raiders cap space by being cut.

[RELATED: Where could Raiders find more cap room?]

Another look, then, at the Raiders' free agents -- 10 of the 17 unrestricted free agents are defensive players and nine of them played in at least seven games with five of them started at least eight -- with eight days to go before the new league year begins…

Unrestricted free agents
RT Khalif Barnes
DT Desmond Bryant
LG Cooper Carlisle
DE Andre Carter
MLB Omar Gaither
FS Matt Giordano
RB Mike Goodson
WR Derek Hagan
CB Joselio Hanson
P Shane Lechler
QB Matt Leinart
SS Mike Mitchell
TE Brandon Myers
DT Richard Seymour
DE Matt Shaughnessy
CB Shawntae Spencer
SLB Philip Wheeler

Restricted free agent
CB Phillip Adams

Exclusive-rights free agents
LB Kaelin Burnett
WR Duke Calhoun
CB Coye Francies
OT Zach Hurd
C/G Alex Parsons
CB Brandian Ross
RB Jeremy Stewart

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