Oakland Raiders: Who Could Be Released Next by Reggie McKenzie and Company?
Reggie McKenzie made his first big splash as general manager of the Oakland Raiders on Thursday, sending starting cornerback Stanford Routt and his $54.5 million contract packing in order to save valuable cap room for a franchise that has completely mismanaged their football finances in recent seasons.
A disciple of cap-wary Ted Thompson, the Green Bay Packers' current general manager, McKenzie likely isn't done trimming money from the roster. When departed head coach Hue Jackson said that McKenzie was going to "gut the place," he probably wasn't far off.
McKenzie's focus from day one in Oakland has been to change the culture in the Raiders organization. Call it "Green Bay West" or whatever you'd like, but McKenzie is making changes to the structure of the Raiders roster and cap like he helped to do in Green Bay. Indeed, McKenzie was a part of the front office of the former Super Bowl champions for the better part of two decades.
Here are some potential names, with help from ESPN.com's Bill Williamson, on who McKenzie might look to cut or restructure next:
I'm not certain that McKenzie would flat out release Seymour as he did Routt, but there has to be some discussion between the two about restructuring his contract.
Seymour is owed a $7.5 million roster bonus on top of his $7.5 million base salary in 2011. That's a lot of money for a 32-year-old defensive lineman.
The Raiders avoided paying Wimbley franchise-tag money by signing him to a five-year, $48 million deal with $29 million in guarantees last August. Wimbley responded with an underwhelming seven sacks in 2011, with four of them coming in one game against the Chargers.
For a player who has just a couple of average seasons under his belt, there's no way the Raiders can continue to pay him like an elite guy.
Huff signed a four-year, $32 million deal just a day before Wimbley's contract was signed. Next season, Huff will be paid $4 million in base salary with another four in roster bonuses.
Consider this another out of control contract that McKenzie may decide to rid himself of.
Back in 2008, Kelly signed the richest contract ever at the time for a defensive tackle—a deal that gave him over $50 million through five years. In 2012, he'll be owed $6 million.
At 31 years old, Kelly is a prime candidate for a pink slip.
The Seahawks restructured Curry's rookie deal before trading him to Oakland, but he'll still be owed over $6 million in 2012.
From a production standpoint, is keeping Curry around worth it?
It's almost dizzying to factor all the money Oakland has thrown around over the past couple of seasons. Henderson signed a two-year deal in 2011 and will be owed $4 million next season.
At 33 years old, Henderson should probably be trimmed from the roster and cap.
The Raiders released Carlisle this past offseason but brought him back at a more manageable salary after they gave him a heavy five-year deal in 2009. However, they'd be better off releasing him for good and saving the $3 million he is owed in 2011.
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