The Oakland Raiders have been very busy adding players this free agency, but today they have decided to make a subtraction to the roster. The team released offensive linemen Mike Brisiel. The team added two guards, Kevin Boothe and Austin Howard, this offseason so the writing was on the wall for Brisiel.
Brisiel signed a five-year, 20 million dollar deal with the Raiders in 2012. In the two seasons he spent with Oakland, Brisiel started 30 of a possible 32 games. However, he struggled at times in pass protection and opening up holes in the running game. He had some nagging injuries that also hurt his production as well as penalty issues. Spotrac.com has Brisiel scheduled to earn 3.85 million dollars in base salary for 2014. Oakland will get some financial relief from that contract that carried more than a 5 million dollar cap hit in 2014.
It became very clear this offseason that general manager Reggie McKenzie wanted to upgrade the offensive line. He brought in three new starters in free agency, which left Brisiel as the odd man out. With the newly established depth, Brisiel became expendable. The Raiders were not going to pay him starting money to provide depth as a back-up guard.
Last season, the Raiders had Brisiel take a pay cut. This offseason they have released him which illustrates his decline in play. Going forward without Brisiel, Oakland can add some offensive line help and depth in the 2014 NFL Draft or once players become available after cuts are made. The team will also have more funds available with the money saved from his release.
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