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.