Figures obtained by CSNBayArea.com have shown that the Raiders currently have $145,774,984 earmarked towards the 2012 salary cap and, when you subtract the $3.23 million they can roll over from 2011, Oakland is sitting at $142,514,984.
The NFL's 2012 salary cap has yet to be announced, though it is thought to be near last year's cap of $120.375 million. All of which means the Raiders -- specifically new general manager Reggie McKenzie and finance officer Marc Badain -- have some serious accounting to do to shed some approximate $22 million before the deadline of March 13.
[RELATED: Raiders have more than $145 million in contracts]
"I would say 'challenges' is the proper word," new Raiders coach Dennis Allen said last week at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. "It's nothing that can't be overcome. And I think we look forward to the challenge. Nothing in life that is ever worth anything comes easy. We really feel that way.
"Somebody told a long time ago that tough times don't last but tough people do. That's what we're trying to do. We're going to everything we can to put the best team on the field. Whatever those challenges that might come our way, we're going to have to navigate through them."
McKenzie, at the media conference announcing Allen's hiring on Jan. 30, spoke of "out of whack" contracts with which he'd have to deal.
"But in my discussions and viewing the cap situation, we should be fine," McKenzie said at the time. "At this point, in talking to our guys and seeing all the spreadsheets and stuff, we're going to be fine."
A closer look at some of the Raiders' contracts seems to bear that out. We have already published the names and numbers of the 16 players who have cap numbers of at least $3.3 million for 2012, including the recently-cut Stanford Routt.
It is easier, though, and gives teams more flexibility to re-structure contracts, when a majority of said players' cap number is wrapped up in base salary.
Quarterback Carson Palmer is a great candidate to be re-structured, given that all of his $12.5 million cap number is in base salary, and that he still has two more years left on his contract with $13 million and $15 million due in base salary in 2013 and 2014, respectively.
[RELATED: Carson Palmer career stats | 2011 game logs | splits]
Same for linebacker Kamerion Wimbley, what with $11 million of his $11.85-million cap number in base salary. His base salaries for 2013, 2014 and 2015 are $11, $10 and $11.5 million with cap numbers of $11.85, $10.85 and $12.35 million.
[RELATED: Kamerion Wimbley career stats | 2011 game logs | splits]
And $6 million of defensive tackle Tommy Kelly's $8.874.266 cap number is base salary.
[RELATED: Tommy Kelly career stats | 2011 game logs | splits]
Yet while all of linebacker Aaron Curry's $5.757.500 cap number is in base salary, the Raiders would have to extend him to re-do his figures as he is entering the final year of his contract.
Free safety Michael Huff, meanwhile, has a base salary of $4 million, with a $4 million roster bonus and a cap number of $9.828.75 for each of the next three years.
Another look then, at the 16 Raiders with a cap figure of at least $3.3 million, and their base salaries for 2012…
Player 2012 Salary Cap Number, in millions (base salary)
TE Kevin Boss $4.75 ($2)
OG Cooper Carlisle $3.3 ($3)
LB Aaron Curry $5.757.5 ($5.757.5)
DT John Henderson $4.75 ($4)
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey $8.159 ($5.279)
FS Michael Huff $9.828.75 ($4)
PK Sebastian Janikowski $4.5 ($1.7)
CB Chris Johnson $4.5 ($3.5)
DT Tommy Kelly $8.874.266 ($6)
P Shane Lechler $4.9 ($3.8)
LB Rolando McClain $3.64 ($970,000)
RB Darren McFadden $9.478.833 ($5.65)
QB Carson Palmer $12.5 ($12.5)
CB Stanford Routt $10.785.334 ($5)
DT Richard Seymour $14.068 ($7.5)
LB Kamerion Wimbley $11.85 ($11)
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