The Raiders elected against using the franchise tag on any of their prospective unrestricted free agents before the window to do so closed the March 4th deadline.
Previously , the Raiders placed the franchise-tag designation on strong safety Tyvon Branch as a means of guarding themselves from losing one of their key starters.
Ultimately, Branch signed a long-term contract that succeeded the one-year tender as the team's franchise player. Players who are franchise-tagged are guaranteed the average salary of the five-highest-paid players at their position from the previous season.
This season the Raiders didn’t not use the franchise tag on any of their 17 potential unrestricted free agents. But in reality this doesn’t mean the Raiders aren’t involved in negotiations in bringing back some or all of those players.
In fact the team has till March 12th to work out contracts with significant players such as linebacker Philip Wheeler and tight end Brandon Myers before other teams are allowed to make offers.
In the mist of all this the Raiders free up some cap space by restructuring Mike Brisiel contract, which reduces Brisiel's base salary for 2013 from $4.35 million to $1.35.