Cap Trouble? A Look At How The Raiders Can Create Another $50 Million in Salary Cap Room

It’s going to be a busy month around the NFL with teams trying to dump contracts to stay under this year’s lowered salary cap.

The Raiders are reportedly around a half-million dollars under the projected salary cap after releasing Gabe Jackson (when his release finally becomes official). But that figure doesn’t include the recent news of Richie Incognito’s impending release and there are a lot more moves from the Raiders still to come.

Let’s take a look at the contracts the Raiders still have on the books and how much cap room they can create by releasing those players. All information is courtesy of

Trent Brown, $14,000,000

This is the contract that everyone is watching. If the Raiders dump Brown’s contract, they free up $14 million, but will be without a dependable right tackle. Is there anyone in free agency that Jon Gruden will trust to hold down the right side of his offensive line?

Marcus Mariota, $11,350,000

The Raiders might keep Mariota around for a while, but they can’t pay a backup quarterback $11 million. Right now there are several teams interested in Mariota, but that could change in about a month. This is a delicate situation because Mariota (who has been holding up trades in an effort to force his release) needs to find a new opportunity before there are no more opportunities. The Raiders, on the other hand, may soon need to dump his salary to make room for additional free agent signings.

Lamarcus Joyner, $8,700,000

It makes no sense that Joyner hasn’t been released yet. The Raiders drafted his replacement a year ago and even if they didn’t like Amik Robertson, nearly $9 million on the books for Joyner is way too much.

Richie Incognito, $5,475,000

This move is apparently going to happen, but it hasn’t been officially announced. Once the dust settles on free agency, it sounds like the plan is to find a creative way to get Incognito back on the roster.

Jeff Heath, $3,150,000

This is another inflated contract that should eventually be re-worked or dumped altogether. Heath had his moments in 2020, but he isn’t worth $3 million at this stage in his career. Then again, Gruden has done some strange things with veteran contracts in the past.

Arden Key, $2,183,000

Key has put out messages on social media that might indicate he is either hoping to be released or is expecting to be released. With a cap number just over $2 million, his release will be something the Raiders have to consider.

Derek Carr, Restructure or Extension?

Carr isn’t a candidate to be released, but his $21,125,000 cap number can easily be cut in half with a restructure or extension. If they need more cap room, the Raiders can quickly create another $10 million by addressing Carr’s contract.

Not counting any activity involving Carr, the Raiders can clear just under $45 million in contracts by cutting the aforementioned players – most of whom made minimal contributions on the field last year. Add in another $10 million by addressing Carr’s deal and the Raiders could soon have more cap room than all but four or five teams in league.

twitter: @raidersbeat


13 thoughts on “Cap Trouble? A Look At How The Raiders Can Create Another $50 Million in Salary Cap Room

  1. Without Jeff Heath we have barely any talent in the secondary. Lamarcus Joyner shows up sometimes and makes good plays and so does Trayvon Mullen and that’s about it. Nixon and Lawson are horrible and Abram has to figure it out or else he’s not going to be much better

  2. Where is Isaiah Johnson? That’s my question what’s wrong is this guy still injured? And if not, then why do we whiff on so many secondary draft picks?

    1. Because they were being coached by the former defensive coordinator. Now do you get it?
      It’s NOT so much the players, it was the D coach. He was not a good teacher but he had much too many plays to learn. Players were thinking too much instead of read and react. Do your homework homie

  3. If Trent and Incognito are gone, in addition to Gabe Jackson, Gruden and Mayock better have a good plan to replace all three. If Trent is fully healthy, these three help form one of the better O-lines in the league. The last thing we need is for Carr to be unprotected. He doesn’t possess the scrambling skills as some other top NFL QB’s do. Handled incorrectly, this could be another Gruden disaster.

    1. The studs on the line are as, if not more important for run blocking than pass blocking. The WCO deals just fine with quick hitters that don’t need long times in the pocket and we all know Carr is quick and decisive to avoid sacks (except the occassional strip sacks 🙁

      The red zones woes have a lot to do with poor power blocking. The offense is predicated on using the run to offset the spread passes. Losing stud run blockers like Incognito and Brown really showed up last season where the replacements just aren’t as dominant in the running game.

      The best friend of a QB in staying upright is a strong and balanced run game that keeps the D on their heels and not just teeing off on pass rushing and prevents a lot of 3rd and long situations that do the same. With or without those specific high priced players they need to invest in quality starters to make this offense work. Whoever they get isn’t going to be a lot cheaper so the net savings won’t be that huge.

  4. Getting rid of incognito would be a massive mistake, he being the best offensive lineman the Raiders have. He is not making that much and when he was injured. . The Raiders running game all but disappeared. His nasty attitude set the tone for the whole offensive line. Gruden and Mayock have been disappointing with player personnel moves . . They better not blow this one!

    1. Hudson is the best offensive lineman we have, Incognito was 2nd. Still sucks to see this team go through a shuffling of players…again

  5. The 2 things that should be priority to free up cap space is dump/trade Mariota and restructure Carr! Then be careful with messing with the o-line to much! Brown is an enigma, my thoughts is he’ll rebound so I would keep him, Ingognito I think is just to risky , I see continual injury problems with him, but if they can get him back on the cheap then do it at least there will be some continuity along the oline. Hated to see Gabe Jackson cut but understandable!

  6. Heath isn’t worth $3m? Heath is a bargain at $3m! Larry is right, there really wasn’t anyone else in the secondary who wasn’t terrible last year. $3m is nothing, especially when the guy can play well on defense and can also contribute on special teams. Someone else would pick him up at the same number in a heartbeat. Heath’s salary isn’t the issue here. There were plenty of guys making a lot more money on both side of the ball and contributing a lot less. Trying to get rid of the best player in your secondary who makes only $3m/year lacks all perspective. Luckily, I’m pretty sure Grudock isn’t going to see that as a realistic option.

  7. Trade who you can and cut the rest…. theres going to be plenty of FA talent out there this year and unlike when Gruden took over, they will want to come sign

  8. No pass rush, confusion in the secondary, coupled with not being able to stop the run, adds up to one of the worst defenses in the league. Mullen, Heath and Isiah Johnson all made plays at times. Abram was tremendous in run support, when he could stay on the field. A better plan on defense may help the secondary, but the front 7 is full of underperformers. They need to hit on a couple free agents and draft picks on the D line, or they’re going to stop anyone again in 2021.

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