The Oakland Raiders have continued their releasing spree this offseason with 32-year old defensive tackle Tommy Kelly. Kelly joins the departing group of Oakland’s defensive line with Richard Seymour, Desmond Bryant, Matt Shaughnessy and Andre Carter.
A widely-expected move, the release creates $4.775 million in cap space, according to CBS Sports. With Kelly aging and his productivity diminishing, the release was predictable; however, there is no word yet if Kelly and the franchise negotiated restructured terms.
Kelly only earned one sack in 2012 after compiling 7.5 in 2011 and 7.0 in 2010. It was clear that Kelly was not worth the $50.5 million contract he was given in 2008, which was the most lucrative contract given to a defensive tackle at that time. Although productive in previous seasons, with the evident decline in stats and increase in age — the decision was needed.
The move could ultimately cement the Raiders third overall draft pick with the University of Florida DT, Sharrif Floyd. Oakland also has depth issues at the position, having Pat Sims and Vance Walker penciled in as the current starters. Names like Alan Branch, Sedrick Ellis and Sen’Derrick Marks make sense here for possible free agent targets, and they should come at a cheap price.
Branch, 28, who featured in the Seattle Seahawks‘ stout defense last season, could effectively split time with Walker and the prospective incoming Floyd. If so, it could be an ideal fit for the team.
With the release, Oakland’s GM Reggie McKenzie should have around $11 million in cap space to play with, not counting the possible cuts of Carson Palmer and Rolando McClain.
Keep it posted here, there should be more free agency news coming out of Oakland pretty soon.