Raiders

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.

Practice report: Conley locking in mentally while rehabbing injury

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AP

Practice report: Conley locking in mentally while rehabbing injury

NAPA – Gareon Conley ran Sunday for the first time in two months. The Raiders first-round cornerback remains on the physically unable to perform list with a shin injury originally suffered during a June minicamp. He wants to get back on the field. He just isn’t ready yet.

Missing training camp certainly sets back a dynamic cover man, but it doesn’t mean Conley can’t make an instant impact. While he hasn’t been seen on the practice field, the Raiders have been encouraged that Conley’s proving a quick learner and an inquisitive mind.

“We’d love to have him out there right now,” Raiders assistant head coach – defense John Pagano said. “When he’s out there, he’ll be out there. Until then, I think he got the reps he needed in OTAs. His mental game has picked up tremendously. He’s always asking questions, even more. It’s hard for a lot of injured players in this league to stand there on the sidelines and be able to just watch and look out there, but he’s always asking. He’s getting those mental reps.

"When he’s able to come back, he’ll be at a fast level. Injuries are part of the game, you deal with it and you just have to make sure, as a rookie, you’re taking those mental reps.”

Conley has been on the practice field with his position group most days, with a play sheet in hand to follow along. He has also lifted weights the past two days and worked on the JUGS machine Wednesday.

Nearly a month remains until the regular season starts, leaving Conley time to get back in the mix.

QUICK SLANTS

-- Cornerback Sean Smith took some reps with the first unit on Wednesday, though most of them came as an outside corner in the nickel package. TJ Carrie slid inside in those instances, and generally remained outside in the base defense.

Smith had his second straight quality practice, a sign he might be rebounding after a rough week where he practiced with the second unit and didn’t fare well at Arizona. The Raiders hope he can build on good work and be steadier in coverage.

“I think he’s growing every day,” Pagano said. “There’s always highs and lows in this game. You don’t want to make it, as we term, inconsistent. We’re always looking for the consistency. It’s how you build. It’s how you learn. It’s how you come off those things. There’s always room for improvement in the backend, in the front, all across our defense. There’s guys we’re asking them to go out there and make plays. Has he been improving at practice? Yeah. Then our job is to take that practice stuff and take it to the game field and have that consistency and that carry over to those types of games.”

-- Offensive line coach Mike Tice praised Ian Silberman’s play in a position switch to center. He has seen extensive reps there in camp, including a massive amount in the preseason opener at Arizona. Silberman will play some left guard in coming weeks to establish versatility and give him a shot to make the team.

-- Undrafted rookie Nicholas Morrow played with the first unit in sub packages, as the Raiders continue searching for coverage options in those personnel groups.

-- Jon Feliciano worked with the first unit on Wednesday at left guard. He will be a primary backup at every interior line spot. He is working back from a knee injury that kept him out until last week.

Tice finds silver lining on Raiders' offensive line as Penn's holdout drags on

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AP

Tice finds silver lining on Raiders' offensive line as Penn's holdout drags on

NAPA – Donald Penn won’t step foot in the Napa Valley Marriott this year. Unless something truly shocking happens, the Raiders will break training camp Thursday afternoon without seeing the Pro Bowl left tackle on the practice field.

Penn wants a new contract, one worth more than the $5.8 million base salary he was scheduled to make under his current deal. Penn has outperformed that pact, and is willing to wait for a new one.

It’s been 20 days with no movement.

That has forced offensive line coach Mike Tice to make other plans. He has to move on with the players he had in camp, even with the virtual certainty Penn will return before the regular season starts.

Marshall Newhouse is the Raiders left tackle. Vadal Alexander is on the right. That’s who Tice has to work with. He has to prep them for the regular season opener Sept. 10.

“Where I’m at right now is I have to get us ready to go out and beat Tennessee,” Tice said after Wednesday’s practice. “So right now, I have Marshall on the left and I have Vadal on the right and I have David doing a little bit more each day, playing both sides. That’s what we have. I can’t sit here and wonder when DP is going to come back. Right now I’ve moved forward with Marshall is on the left and Vadal is on the right and David is swinging.

"That’s reality right now. I can’t think that there’s going to be something else there until it’s there.”

When Penn eventually shows up to work at the Raiders complex in Alameda, Tice will add him to the mix. The Raiders have now had plenty of time to prepare for an instance in which their Pro Bowl tackle is not physically able to perform. 

“Injuries happen during the season and you have to have a plan to have a player ready to play at each position and sometimes multiple players ready at the same position,” Tice said. “With Donald not here yet, we’re able to have Marshall over there. He’s done a nice job. He’s gotten better. The challenge you have with a veteran guy that comes in, he’s been coached by other coaches to do things a different way and it takes time for a veteran to learn the ways to do things the way that we want to do them as Raiders. That’s probably the biggest challenge.”

Penn isn’t the only offensive lineman to miss time. David Sharpe and Jylan Ware have missed some time with injury. Kelechi Osemele has taken some time off this camp. Jon Feliciano only returned from the physically unable to perform list last week. Tice has mixed and matched just to get through practice.

“We’ve had some days where we’ve had to make it happen with 10 or 11,” Tice said. “When you have that, you get the ability, you have the ability, you have the opportunity to develop your depth. In the long run, it’s actually a good thing.”