It has been assumed that Oakland Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie would prioritize bringing back strong safety Tyvon Branch. But after Stanford Routt's release last Thursday, it didn't seem safe to assume anyone would be back.
As usual, the Raiders have operated very quietly this offseason, but according to Yahoo! Sports' Len Pasquarelli, it's not a secret that McKenzie will make every effort to re-sign Branch.
"Branch comes very highly recommended by people McKenzie trusts," Pasquarelli wrote, and will likely be given the franchise tag if a long-term deal cannot be reached.
Branch would be wise to take a competitive contract rather than the $6 million, one-year deal that the franchise tag would offer. Until that happens, I'd expect some more spring cleaning to be done as McKenzie continues to eliminate more of the team's "out-of-whack" contracts.
We know Richard Seymour will be around. Who will be next to follow Routt out the door?