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Raiders use franchise tag on Tyvon Branch

The Raiders have used the franchise tag on Tyvon Branch, the team announced today.  In a press release announcing the move, Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie praised Branch, stating, “Tyvon is a talented, productive player who we hope will be wearing the silver and black for many years to come. We will continue to work on a long-term deal to make that happen.”

There is also a possibility that the Raiders and Branch will come to a long term contract very soon in which case the franchise tag could be rescinded and used on another player.  That seems unlikely at this point, however, and there isn’t any other free agent on which it would be needed.

There was some speculation that the Raiders might tag backup RB Michael Bush but the tag is projected to be approximately 7.7 million dollars for a one year contract for running backs versus a projected 6.2 million for safeties.  The actual amount is not known because the new tag calculations are tied in with the salary cap, which is widely expected to be approximately 120 million dollars this year, but has yet to be announced.

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