Originally written on Down and Distance  |  Last updated 11/14/14

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 15: Richard Seymour #92 of the Oakland Raiders tackles Kolby Smith #21 of the Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on November 15, 2009 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

According to league sources, the Oakland Raiders cleared $11.82 million of cap space today by restructuring the contracts of DE Richard Seymour and S Michael Huff. These are big steps in clearing the financial mess that the Raiders faced going into the offseason. They were over the projected salary cap by at least $20 million, and these deals will help get them to the required cap number, whenever that number is released.

Seymour had a cap hit of $14.068 million that was lowered to the league minimum salary of $925K with the remainder of the $6.575 Million turned into a guaranteed roster bonus that will be treated as a signing bonus to avoid the cap hit. Seymour’s contract was also extended another year adding another $7.5 Million base salary and another $7.5 Million roster bonus  tacked on to allow the roster bonus to be prorated over the league maximum five years. The move reduces Seymour’s cap number from $14.068 million to $8.808 million, a cap savings of $5.98 million for the 2012 season.

Michael Huff was scheduled to be a $9.828 million cap hit this season after signing a four-year $32 million dollar deal last August. With the restructured deal Huff will have a $3.988 million cap hit.  The remaining $3.3 million combined with his $4 million roster bonus to create a guaranteed $7.3 million roster bonus that will be treated like a signing bonus. Huff also added two years to his deal to allow the bonuses to be prorated over the five year max. The restructured contract lowers his cap number from $9.828 million to $3.988 million, clearing $5.84 million in cap space for the 2012 season.

This should be a sigh of relief to Raider Nation, many of whom were worried that there wouldn’t be any room for the upcoming Free Agency period.

There are several other contracts being restructured to allow for more wiggle room, some of those players are believed to be LB Kamerion Wimbley ($11 million), LB Aaron Curry ($5.7 million), DL Tommy Kelley ($8.892 million) and QB Carson Palmer ($12.5 million) who both have high cap numbers and should be willing to restructure their deals.

In recent past it has paid to be a Raider, but under the direction of new GM Reggie McKenzie, times are changing in Oakland. Expect several more moves to be made by the team this offseason.


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