Raiders: Branch to be cut
Even for a player who once logged three straight 1000-snap seasons, playing fewer than 300 snaps over the past two years is tough for a team to swallow, especially when there’s a sizable contract attached.
Tyvon Branch simply hasn’t seen the field enough recently to justify keeping him around under his current contract. Even before the missed time, Branch had settled back down for middling 2012 season after his play had risen to a high point in 2011. That year he finished as our 11th-rated safety overall and the top safety against the run with a +9.6 mark. His contract was extended following that 2011 season and another $1 million roster bonus was coming due soon.
Best suited for play around the box, he logged over 74% of his snaps in 2011 as a strong safety or playing over the slot, but his snaps had actually leaned toward a deeper alignment over his final three seasons (19 games) in Oakland.
With 38-year-old Charles Woodson remaining at one safety spot and an uninspiring group to fill the other, safety is a position Oakland will need to bolster sooner than later.