Brisiel Restructures Contract but Raiders Have Plenty More Cap Work to Do

D.J. O'ConnorSenior Analyst IIIMarch 5, 2013

BALTIMORE, MD - NOVEMBER 11: Quarterback Carson Palmer #3 of the Oakland Raiders walks off the field with teammates  Mike Brisiel #65, Stefen Wisniewski #61 and Cooper Carlisle #66 after failing to convert on fourth down during the second half of their 55-20 loss to the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on November 11, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Raiders made their first of what can be expected to be several contract restructures on Monday night as they restructured the contract of Mike Brisiel to save $3 million against the salary cap for 2013.

Brisiel was a candidate to be cut because of the Raiders transition to a power-blocking scheme under new offensive coordinator Greg Olson. Brisiel fits better into the zone-blocking scheme which the Raiders used last year.  

With the new scheme, Brisiel could lose his starting job to Lucas Nix who has a noticeable size advantage over Brisiel which could translate to being a better fit in power blocking.

Brisiel is the biggest splash Reggie McKenzie has made in free agency so far and perhaps McKenzie wasn't ready to call it quits on his first major acquisition.  

Brisiel's restructured contract gets Oakland about $1.5 million under the cap which they needed to do by the start of the new league year, March 12.

Although the Raiders did get under the cap by that small amount, the Raiders still have 17 unrestricted free agents, plus another restricted free agent and then several exclusive-rights free agents. So the Raiders are almost at the cap with only about two-thirds of a full 53-man roster.

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The Raiders did buy time to restructure contracts for players like Carson Palmer, Tommy Kelly and Darrius Heyward-Bey with Brisiel getting the Raiders under the cap by the deadline next week but the Raiders will still have to make decisions on some of their other players.  

Some fans want to see Palmer get cut which would save $9 million against the 2013 cap and make Terrelle Pryor the starting quarterback. Some fans want to see Tommy Kelly get cut and see the Raiders draft Star Lotulelei to replace him. Some fans want to see Darrius Heyward-Bey cut and be replaced by a big-name free agent wide receiver.  

Some fans want all of the above.