Originally published on SBReport.net on March 27, 2013
Reports have surfaced that the Raiders are expected to release veteran defensive tackle Tommy Kelly on Wednesday.
Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie has been ridding the roster of booming contracts in an attempt to create himself a more cap-friendly roster. Shedding Kelly's contract this year would save himself roughly $4.75 million dollars, but now creates even more dead money for the Raiders. The release adds an additional $6.324 million, building the team's dead money total to roughly $29 million after all the releases this offseason.
Kelly's contract, signed in 2008, is a great example of the late Al Davis' philosopher: let a player get "straight cash homie".
After going undrafted out of Mississippi State University, Davis gave his undrafted gem a seven-year, $50.1 million deal, making him the highest paid defensive tackle in NFL history at the time.
Kelly's production fell off this season as he only tallied 1.5 sacks, after recording 7.5 sacks in 2011. He accumulated 7.0 sacks in 2010. In all, Kelly leaves Oakland with 34.5 sacks and 420 tackles in his 129 games.
The release comes at an interesting time when it is believed that the Raiders are at a stalemate with quarterback Carson Palmer in regards to restructuring his contract. Reports have also surfaced that the Raiders may be interested in Seattle quarterback Matt Flynn.
The freed-up money may also help play in a factor in landing a cornerback on the free market as they have been looking at Terrance Newman, Mike Jenkins and Tracy Porter. Porter has connections with Dennis Allen during his time in New Orleans and is scheduled to visit the Raiders on Wednesday.
More players are still expected to be released from the roster, including disgruntled middle linebacker Rolando McClain, along with the possibility of quarterback Carson Palmer if he decides to not restructure his contract.