The NFL and NFLPA agreed to a labor deal today, meaning there will be football in 2011 and no regular or preseason games will be missed.
Training camp will begin Wednesday. Camp and free agency will be simultaneous and abbreviated.
Zach Miller will be the Raiders top priority in free agency. With the Raiders sitting roughly $5 million over the proposed new salary cap this could be harder than previously believed.
Based on the new rules, teams would be able to use a one-time veteran exemption up to $3 million and can also borrower $3 million against the 2012 salary cap. The details aren’t fully known on how this all works yet.
Any cap savings that can be saved by releasing players would likely happen on the first day of the new league year to clear room for Miller and hopefully a veteran offensive guard. That could be as early as this afternoon.
The Raiders manage the cap in such a way that they never have a problem landing a big free agent. However, the Raiders often find themselves unable to sign quality depth if they do not take quick action to reduce their cap number.
Where can the Raiders save cap space?
Release Cooper Carlisle: Cap Savings $2.5 million
Re-sign Kamerion Wimbley to long-term extention; Estimated cap savings: $3 million
Restructure Chris Johnson: Estimated cap savings $1.5 million
Restructure Tommy Kelly: Estimated cap savings $2 million
The Raiders will have to strike quickly in order to bring back Miller and could find it difficult to afford any other starting caliber players in free agency. Nnamdi Asomugha is not coming back, the new labor terms make it virtually impossble for the Raiders to clear enough cap space to give him the mega deal he wants.