Which big contracts will Raiders restructure?


Which big contracts will Raiders restructure?

Figures obtained by CSNBayArea.com have shown that the Raiders currently have 145,774,984 earmarked towards the 2012 salary cap and, when you subtract the 3.23 million they can roll over from 2011, Oakland is sitting at 142,514,984.The NFL's 2012 salary cap has yet to be announced, though it is thought to be near last year's cap of 120.375 million. All of which means the Raiders -- specifically new general manager Reggie McKenzie and finance officer Marc Badain -- have some serious accounting to do to shed some approximate 22 million before the deadline of March 13.RELATED: Raiders have more than 145 million in contracts
"I would say 'challenges' is the proper word," new Raiders coach Dennis Allen said last week at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. "It's nothing that can't be overcome. And I think we look forward to the challenge. Nothing in life that is ever worth anything comes easy. We really feel that way.
"Somebody told a long time ago that tough times don't last but tough people do. That's what we're trying to do. We're going to everything we can to put the best team on the field. Whatever those challenges that might come our way, we're going to have to navigate through them."McKenzie, at the media conference announcing Allen's hiring on Jan. 30, spoke of "out of whack" contracts with which he'd have to deal."But in my discussions and viewing the cap situation, we should be fine," McKenzie said at the time. "At this point, in talking to our guys and seeing all the spreadsheets and stuff, we're going to be fine."A closer look at some of the Raiders' contracts seems to bear that out. We have already published the names and numbers of the 16 players who have cap numbers of at least 3.3 million for 2012, including the recently-cut Stanford Routt.It is easier, though, and gives teams more flexibility to re-structure contracts, when a majority of said players' cap number is wrapped up in base salary.Quarterback Carson Palmer is a great candidate to be re-structured, given that all of his 12.5 million cap number is in base salary, and that he still has two more years left on his contract with 13 million and 15 million due in base salary in 2013 and 2014, respectively.RELATED: Carson Palmer career stats 2011 game logs splits
Same for linebacker Kamerion Wimbley, what with 11 million of his 11.85-million cap number in base salary. His base salaries for 2013, 2014 and 2015 are 11, 10 and 11.5 million with cap numbers of 11.85, 10.85 and 12.35 million.
RELATED: Kamerion Wimbley career stats 2011 game logs splits
And 6 million of defensive tackle Tommy Kelly's 8.874.266 cap number is base salary.
RELATED: Tommy Kelly career stats 2011 game logs splits
Yet while all of linebacker Aaron Curry's 5.757.500 cap number is in base salary, the Raiders would have to extend him to re-do his figures as he is entering the final year of his contract.Free safety Michael Huff, meanwhile, has a base salary of 4 million, with a 4 million roster bonus and a cap number of 9.828.75 for each of the next three years.Another look then, at the 16 Raiders with a cap figure of at least 3.3 million, and their base salaries for 2012Player 2012 Salary Cap Number, in millions (base salary)TE Kevin Boss 4.75 (2)OG Cooper Carlisle 3.3 (3)LB Aaron Curry 5.757.5 (5.757.5)DT John Henderson 4.75 (4)WR Darrius Heyward-Bey 8.159 (5.279)FS Michael Huff 9.828.75 (4)PK Sebastian Janikowski 4.5 (1.7)CB Chris Johnson 4.5 (3.5)DT Tommy Kelly 8.874.266 (6)P Shane Lechler 4.9 (3.8)LB Rolando McClain 3.64 (970,000)RB Darren McFadden 9.478.833 (5.65)QB Carson Palmer 12.5 (12.5)CB Stanford Routt 10.785.334 (5)DT Richard Seymour 14.068 (7.5)LB Kamerion Wimbley 11.85 (11)

Amari Cooper seeks counsel from former three-time All-Pro Lions WR

Amari Cooper seeks counsel from former three-time All-Pro Lions WR

ALAMEDA -- Todd Downing and Calvin Johnson go way back. The Raiders offensive coordinator got to know the retired Detroit receiver during four seasons coaching Lions quarterbacks, a relationship benefitted current Silver and Black receivers this week.

Johnson is in Alameda as a special guest and advisor for the first week of Raiders OTAs, offering tips and tricks learned during an excellent career.

“(Downing) thought it’d be a great idea for our wide receivers to just pick his brain and have him be around and give us a point here or there,” Del Rio said. “Talk about some of the things that he did so well in his career and how we might be able to have some of our guys learn from that. It’s great to have him out here.”

Amari Cooper gravitated towards Johnson, and has spent significant time picking his brain

“I’ve just been asking him a whole bunch of questions,” Cooper said after Tuesday’s OTA session. “How does he run certain routes? What was his regimen like? And how he was so productive? He’s a really cool guy. He’s been giving me some really great feedback, so he’s nice to have around.”

Johnson’s a unique talent, a difficult cover at 6-foot-5, 236 pounds. Cooper operates in a smaller frame and has different receiving strengths, but still found wisdom in working with Megatron.

“He just gave me some really good tips on like how I can run some of my routes,” Cooper said. “…he’s a different receiver than I am, obviously. But I really admire the way he high-points the ball and that’s something that I try to do as well.”

Cooper does most everything well, and has had a productive start to his NFL career. He’s just the third receiver in NFL history to exceed 70 receptions and 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons – Odell Beckham and Marques Colston are the others – and made the Pro Bowl after both campaigns.

He continues to tinker with his approach and offseason workouts, trying to finish seasons stronger and become an even more dynamic player. Cooper has no problem learning from others, especially the greats.

“I seek advice all the time,” Cooper said. “My rookie year, when I was fortunate enough to go to the Pro Bowl, I asked Adrian Peterson like when did he start working out, how did he go about his offseason. And I tried to pattern after him a little bit.”

Cooper is smarter and working better thanks to information absorbed from others, which he hopes will help him become a deadly weapon.

“I know he’s just scratching the surface of what he wants to accomplish in this league,” head coach Jack Del Rio said. “Very prideful. Amari has always been very serious about the game and works hard at everything, really. His conditioning level and understanding what he needs to be able to do to play at a high level. Again, talking and having a guy like Calvin here as we’re getting started in these OTAs, to be able to share some of the insight of what he experienced playing that position is very valuable for us.”

Lynch 'soaking up the system,' easing into Raiders OTA practices

Lynch 'soaking up the system,' easing into Raiders OTA practices

ALAMEDA – Marshawn Lynch didn’t bring his helmet to Tuesday’s OTA practice. Didn’t need it then, or on Monday. It's uncertain when he'll need it next.

Not for a cameo appearance during individual drills. The veteran running back wasn’t available during team sessions, and spent most of the two-hour practice working in the team’s performance center.

Lynch skipping full-speed work isn’t cause for alarm. First of all, it’s May. Second, Lynch is in great shape but still ramping back up after a season away from NFL football. It would make sense to ease him back in during the spring.

Head coach Jack Del Rio didn’t say when Lynch’s activity would increase, but wasn’t concerned one bit about Lynch’s limited OTA participation – he routinely skipped them while playing in Seattle -- and praised the Oakland native’s level of involvement in the Raiders offseason program since a new contract was worked out and his rights were acquired from Seattle on April 26.

“He’s coming along. He’s doing great. There are no issues there,” Del Rio said. “He has been here like he said he would. He has really been committed. He said, ‘Coach, this is home for me. It’s not like I’m going home and I won’t be here. He is committed to being here and is excited to be a Raider. We’re excited to have him.”

Lynch was on the practice field for some team periods analyzing plays with offensive teammates, and was working out with them after the session. Del Rio didn’t delve into when Lynch’s on-field activity would increase, but there’s no reason to rush a veteran player who ultimately must be ready come September.

“He’s doing great,” Del Rio said. “He’ll continue to do the things we’re asking him to do. He is really soaking up the system, and has done a great job fitting in.”

That’s clear. He gets on well with left tackle Donald Penn and kicker Sebastian Janikowski, and gravitates toward fellow former Seahawks like edge rusher Bruce Irvin and defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. General manager Reggie McKenzie said last week Lynch was already entrenched in the Raiders locker-room culture, which was evident in how teammates talked about him.

“Getting Marshawn has been great,” Penn said. “He brings a lot of energy here and a lot of momentum. It feels good having him here. We joke around a lot, having fun. You all probably don’t know Marshawn, but he’s a pretty funny guy. He’s really cool, and it’s good having him around here.”