Raiders Could Soon Surpass $70M In Salary Cap Space

The countdown is on. NFL free agency begins on March 10 and teams can begin negotiating with free-agents-to-be (from other teams) on March 7. As of now the Raiders have around $55 million in salary cap room. That’s with Tyvon Branch and LaMarr Woodley on the roster – both will reportedly be released.

It’s clear the Raiders are preparing for an unprecedented spending spree and offensive playmakers will probably be at the top of GM Reggie McKenzie’s wish list. That said, the Raiders will have competition in free agency. According to, seven teams have at least $40 million in cap space as of March 1. What does that mean? McKenzie is going to have to overpay if he wants guys like Ndamukong Suh, Randall Cobb, and Julius Thomas.

The good news is the Raiders can (and will) add to their available cap space in the coming days. Branch and Woodley are on their way out the door and Matt Schaub won’t be far behind – the hope is probably that Schaub could still fetch a 7th round pick from a quarterback-needy team. And then there’s Maurice Jones-Drew who also won’t be back at his current salary.

So how much cap room could the Raiders theoretically clear with more cuts? Here are the approximate cap numbers McKenzie will more than likely decide to do without:

  • Tyvon Branch – $3 million
  • Matt Schaub – $5.5 million
  • LaMarr Woodley – $5.1 million
  • Nick Roach – $2.1 million
  • Maurice Jones-Drew – $2.5 million

Releasing the above mentioned players (two are all but official) would bump the Raiders to $71.5 million in cap space. McKenzie could also consider walking away from a few more veteran contracts. Or a better way to put it, would he let one of these contracts get in the way of signing a player like Ndamukong Suh?

  • Antonio Smith – $4 million
  • James Jones – $3.4 million
  • Sebastian Janikowski – $2.5 million
  • Kevin Boothe – $1.3 million
  • Usama Young – $1.1 million

The Raiders will want to re-sign guys like Rod Streater, Andre Holmes, Marquette King, and Brandian Ross, so some of McKenzie’s potential $70M+ in cap space will go toward his current roster.

With just ten days before free agency officially begins, prepare for the Raiders to be in the bidding early and often. Just like old times, the Raiders are the team every agent is hoping to hear from. For the first time in forever, they have money to spend… and no choice but to use it.