- Paul Gutierrez, ESPN Staff Writer
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For the first time since Reggie McKenzie became the Oakland Raiders' general manager two years ago, he does not have to spend his offseason figuring out which players to cut, how to slash salary cap numbers to get under the salary cap.
Indeed, in past years, the fact that two guys no longer with the team would account for more than $8.8 million in dead money would cause much handwringing. But the financial footprints left by Michael Huff ($6,208,750) and McKenzie acquisition Matt Flynn ($2,625,000) are palatable with Oakland boasting more than $61.7 million in cap space, per overthecap.com.
McKenzie need not go through any couch cushions to find spare change to re-sign those of his 18 unrestricted free agents he deems worthy, or make runs at front-line free agents on the market. But it is interesting to see which players currently under contract boast the largest cap numbers for 2014.
Tyvon Branch ($7.157 million) -- the strong safety appeared in all of two games a year ago, breaking his lower right leg in the first quarter of the Raiders' home opener. He attempted a late-season comeback but could not get right and was placed on injured reserve before appearing in another game.
Mike Brisiel ($5.310 million) -- a potential cut? The right guard was a warrior in 2013, albeit a wounded one. Tony Bergstrom, McKenzie's first-ever draft pick, beating out Brisiel would not necessarily be a bad thing for the future of the franchise.
Kevin Burnett ($4.142 million) -- Veteran presence in the linebacker corps, a potential place to save money ... if the Raiders needed to save money.
Marcel Reece ($3.980 milion) -- The face of the franchise's future, an absolute bargain for a two-time Pro Bowl fullback.
Nick Roach ($3.771 million) -- Played every defensive snap in his first year as a Raider, team defensive MVP, made fans forget about Rolando What's His Name.
Sebastian Janikowski ($3.060 million) -- Highest-paid kicker in the game has a lot to prove after struggling with nine missed field goals in his first season with new contract.
-financial figures from overthecap.com