MARCH 3: The Raiders have officially announced the release of Branch (Twitter link).
At 28, Branch has been with the Raiders for seven seasons, although the strong safety missed all but five games in the past two years with injuries after starting all 62 of a possible 64 games in the previous four years. Branch, however, carried by far the highest cap number on the Raiders’ roster at $9.7MM this season, likely leading to his venture onto the free agent market.
The Raiders, who already possessed more than $54MM worth of salary cap space, will only save $2.9MM by making this move as Branch’s deal carried nearly $7MM in dead money, per OverTheCap. The league’s 11th-highest-paid safety had three more seasons left on his second contract with the team. Behind only the Jaguars, the Raiders have the second-most cap space in the league.