Palmer joins Seymour, Huff in Silver and Black restructure conga line

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Palmer joins Seymour, Huff in Silver and Black restructure conga line

Add Carson Palmer to the list of Raiders veterans willing to restructure his contract to help alleviate the team's salary cap pressures.And, as an aside, put away those fanciful thoughts of Peyton Manning coming to Oakland.This is Palmer's team now and, with the team actually announcing the quarterback had joined defensive tackle Richard Seymour and free safety Michael Huff in the restructuring conga line, he's not going anywhere anytime soon.What was not disclosed, however, were the exact details of Palmer's restructuring. The Raiders do not discuss contract specifics and Palmer did not reply to a message seeking comment.But if general manager Reggie McKenzie followed the reported pattern he used for Seymour and Huff -- reducing their base salaries to their respected veteran minimums -- he would have cleared 7.725 million in cap space with the Palmer move. And, combined with the reported 11.82 million cleared by the Seymour and Huff restructurings, the Raiders could be looking at having shed some 19.545 million against the cap with the trio of actions.With 142,514,984 devoted to the 2012 salary cap entering the week, the Raiders would have been more than 22 million over the salary capif it remains the same as last year's number of 120.375 million. The cap for 2012, though, has yet to be announced, though there have been Internet rumblings it will be announced on Friday.In Palmer's case, restructuring his contract, which called for base salaries of 12.5 million this season, 13 million in 2013 and 15 million in 2014, might have been the easiest work of all, considering all of his money is in the form of base salary.Consider: if Palmer reduced his base salary for this upcoming season from 12.5 million to the 10-year vet minimum of 925,000 and converted the rest into a signing bonus, the difference of 11.575 million could be prorated and spread out evenly over the next three years in the form of 3.85 million once-a-year bonuses. That would translate to a new salary cap number for Palmer of 4.775 million for 2012, hence the savings of 7.725 million this season.
REPORT: Raiders restructure Seymour, Huff

Keep in mind, only the top 51 contracts count against the cap, and the franchise tag placed on strong safety Tyvon Branch is not factored in yet because that number, expected to be about 6.2 million, has yet to be announced, but the Raiders might now be within some 2.6 million, sans the Branch designation, of cap compliance by Tuesday's 1 p.m. PT deadline. With it, Oakland is within 8.8 million.
Of course, the Raiders would like to give themselves some wiggle room to operate by getting 4-5 million under the cap to make a run at some relatively cheap free agents and to get ready for the draft, although they currently only have a fifth-round and a sixth-round choice at their disposal (compensatory picks will be awarded later this month and the Raiders figure to get a third-rounder, which is relatively cheap to sign, as well as a fourth- andor a fifth-rounder after losing Nnamdi Asomugha, Zach Miller, Robert Gallery and Thomas Howard to free agency).
Another Raider to keep an eye on, then, in the coming days is linebacker Kamerion Wimbley, whose agent Joe Linta confirmed to CSNCalifornia.com today he had not spoken to the Raiders in "several days." Reportedly, 6.5 million of Wimbley's 11-million base salary for 2012 is already guaranteed and the remaining 4.5 million becomes guaranteed if he is still on the roster March 17, as well as his entire 11 million base salary for 2013 and 2 million of his 10 million salary for 2014.Oakland cutting Wimbley before March 17 would save the Raiders between 1.9 million and 4.5 million for 2012 cap purposes, depending on prorations, 17.5 million going forward.Others to watch for potential cuts, and what a cut would mean savings-wise this year: linebacker Aaron Curry (5.757.5) defensive tackle John Henderson (4 million), cornerback Chris Johnson (3.5 million), defensive tackle Tommy Kelly (3.125.73) right guard Cooper Carlisle (2.7 million) and safety Hiram Eugene (2.45 million).Restructuring the likes of Curry and Kelly seem more likely, though the Raiders would have to extend Curry as he is entering the finale year of his contract.

Patriots pummel Pittsburgh, return to Super Bowl to face Falcons

Patriots pummel Pittsburgh, return to Super Bowl to face Falcons

BOX SCORE

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The Tom Brady redemption tour is headed to the Super Bowl.

After beginning the 2016 season suspended for four games for his role in the "Deflategate" scandal, the New England quarterback relentlessly carried the Patriots to an unprecedented ninth appearance in the title game, and his seventh. Brady threw for a franchise playoff-best 384 yards and three touchdowns in a 36-17 rout of the helpless Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday in New England's seventh consecutive AFC championship game.

The Patriots are early 3-point favorites heading to face Atlanta in two weeks in Houston, seeking their fifth NFL title with Brady at quarterback and Bill Belichick as coach. Belichick's seventh appearance in a Super Bowl will be a record for a head coach.

Brady was banned by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell when New England (16-2) went 3-1 to open the schedule.

Since his return in Week 5, the only defeat came at home to Seattle, and Brady, 39, had one of the best seasons of a Hall of Fame-caliber career. He punctuated that in dreary weather similar to the 2014 conference title game that precipitated the deflated footballs investigation by flattening Pittsburgh's secondary.

Chris Hogan was his main weapon. The previously unheralded receiver found open spaces everywhere on the field against a leaky secondary. Hogan caught nine balls for 180 yards and two scores.

Top wideout Julian Edelman added eight receptions for 118 yards and a touchdown as Brady tied Joe Montana's playoff record with nine three-TD passing performances. Brady also had his 11th 300-yard postseason game, extending his NFL record, completing 32 of 42 throws.

Pittsburgh (13-6) lost star running back Le'Veon Bell late in the first quarter to a groin injury. It didn't seem to matter much in a record 16th conference title match for the Steelers, who made mistakes in every facet of the game. The franchise that has won the most Super Bowls, six, and the most postseason games, 36, never seemed likely to challenge in the misty rain.

Hogan's second touchdown came on a flea-flicker and he easily beat safety Mike Mitchell to the corner of the end zone. At that point, Hogan had seven catches for 117 yards and the first multi-touchdown game of his four-year career.

His first score made it 10-0 and came after Brady could have taken a nap before throwing, a common occurrence against a nonexistent pass rush. Hogan was all alone in the back of the end zone for the 16-yard score.

Pittsburgh had drawn to 10-6 on DeAngelo Williams' 5-yard run to cap an 84-yard drive. Veteran Williams is a nice security blanket in the backfield, though he's no Bell these days.

Still, he contributed on a 70-yard drive toward the end of the second quarter that appeared to be capped by Jesse James' TD reception. But video review showed James down at the 1, and the Steelers couldn't get into the end zone, Chris Boswell connecting for a 23-yard field goal.

The Steelers never threatened to get back into it.LeGarrette Blount punctuated the romp with a bruising 18-yard run on which he carried nearly the entire Pittsburgh defense with him. He then scored from the 1.

By the end, the crowd was chanting "Where is Roger?" and celebrating yet another Super Bowl trip for the Patriots.

BIG LEG:

Stephen Gostkowski's 31-yard field goal to open the scoring set a franchise record with 27, surpassing Adam Vinatieri's 26. Gostkowski is fourth all-time. He made a 47-yarder in the third quarter, a 26-yarder in the fourth, but he missed an extra point.

Boswell, who set an NFL mark with six field goals in the Steelers' 18-16 win at Kansas City last week, missed an extra point wide left and made a 23-yard kick.

INJURIES:

Steelers: Bell's early departure left him with 20 yards on six carries and no receptions.

Patriots: DB Nate Ebner left with a head injury.

UP NEXT:

After winning the AFC East with the conference's top record, New England defeated the Texans 34-16 and the Steelers to reach the Super Bowl. They will take on Atlanta, which beat Green Bay 44-21 for the NFC crown. Super Bowl 51 will be in Houston on Feb. 5; New England won the 2002 and 2005 Super Bowls after beating Pittsburgh for the AFC championship.

Reports: Former Raiders QB expected to join Cal's coaching staff

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AP

Reports: Former Raiders QB expected to join Cal's coaching staff

It looks as though Marques Tuiasosopo is heading back to the Pac-12, again. The former Rose Bowl MVP and Washington quarterback has reportedly been added to the coaching staff at Cal under new head coach Justin Wilcox.

The news was first reported by Bruin Sports Online and later followed up by Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports, via Twitter.

Tuiasosopo is no stranger to coaching in the Pac-12. After spending 12 seasons in the NFL, Tuiasosopo returned to his alma mater to take on a role as assistant strength coach for the Washington Huskies in 2009.

After two years in that role, he joined the UCLA coaching staff as a graduate assistant in 2011 and took on a role as tight ends coach in 2012 under Jim Mora. The following year, in 2013, Tuiasosopo returned to Washington to be the quarterback coach to work for Steve Sarkisian. 

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