Now all they have to do is find one healthy enough to spend it on.
The Raiders released Kerry Collins ON Friday, and although the natural inclination was to assume a deal was in the works for disgruntled Minnesota quarterback Daunte Culpepper once the trading and free agency period began at 9:01 p.m. (Pacific time), the company line at 1220 Harbor Bay Parkway was that Oakland had made no trade offer.
According to one team source, members of the offensive staff had not even been asked their thoughts about bringing aboard the Vikings quarterback.
Collins' departure, along with the official release of guard Ron Stone, cleared more than $10.2 million in cap room and put the Raiders nearly $10.9 million under the salary cap.
In a three-day span, the Raiders have gone from just over $11.3 million over the cap to $10.9 million under, combining the fruits of a new collective bargaining agreement with the two latest roster cuts.
The release of Collins, 33, cleared $7,447,000 under the cap. Although Collins' pre-CBA cap value was $12,897,668, that figure dropped to $11,147,668 once a CBA extension was agreed upon by owners and players.
With 2007 no longer an uncapped year, $1.75 million worth of incentives were pushed off the 2006 books, lessening Collins' cap figure by that amount.
Minus the $2,647,668 portion of hissigning bonus and an acceleration of
The pushing of incentives off the 2006 books and on to 2007 cleared $6,965,000 more from the cap on the contracts of defensive end Bobby Hamilton and wide receiver Ronald Curry.
Although both retain their original salaries, Hamilton's cap number dropped from $5,320,000 to $1,750,000, Curry from $5,040,000 to $1,640,000.
Collins was set to be released Sunday but got a reprieve when the owners and NFL Players Association extended the deadline for teams to submit waivers as part of the process to get under the salary cap.
At that time, a Raiders official said it was conceivable Collins could be cut and still brought back under a different contract something the Raiders have done at various times with a number of players including Stone in 2005.
The problem with that tactic in 2006 is that Collins' release cost the team $3.7 million in bonus and acceleration money that will have to be accounted for under the cap. Any future deal with Collins will also include that figure under the cap.
A team official said talks with Collins had been ongoing for several days, but no agreement could be reached. Collins, dismayed by last season's one-game benching and then reinstatement in the Norv Turner regime, may simply be looking for a fresh start elsewhere.
In two seasons, Collins was 7-21 as a starter with the Raiders and incurred the wrath of an angry fan base frustrated with a team that has been a franchise-worst 13-35 over the past three years.
Collins, who said on Dec. 31 he wanted to return to the Raiders and has made no public comments since, did not return a message left at his home. David Dunn, the agent for Collins, declined comment.
The Baltimore Ravens are reportedly interested in Collins to compete with Kyle Boller.
If the Raiders have severed ties with Collins for good, the only quarterbacks on the roster are five-year Marques Tuiasosopo, who got the job for one game last season only to lose it back, and second-year Andrew Walter, who has never taken a regular-season snap.
Some of the biggest names on the market are coming off serious injury.
Culpepper, whom the Vikings are actively seeking to trade, underwent reconstructive knee surgery and may not be ready to play until November. His current contract calls for a $6 million bonus paid later this month and a $2 million salary in 2006.
San Diego quarterback Drew Brees underwent surgery for a torn labrum on his throwing shoulder, which also reportedly had rotator cuff damage making it more serious than the injury sustained by Oakland's Rich Gannon in 2003. Brees figures to get the most money of any quarterback on the free-agent market.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers waived Brian Griese Friday, but Griese's health is also in question after knee surgery in 2005. His scheduled salary cap figure was in excess of $7 million, and the Bucs still hope to bring him back.
Other options include Cincinnati Bengals backup Jon Kitna, a starter three years ago, Arizona's Josh McCown, who lost out to Kurt Warner as the Cardinals starter, and Aaron Brooks, released by New Orleans.
Miami quarterback Gus Frerotte could become available should the Dolphins trade for Culpepper or sign Brees.
At No. 7, in the NFL Draft, the Raiders could be in position to select Texas quarterback Vince Young and could have an outside shot at Vanderbilt's Jay Cutler. USC's Matt Leinart is expected to be gone by the time Oakland makes its selection.
EXTRA POINTS: DT Terdell Sands, a restricted free agent, was tendered at $712,000. The Raiders will have the right to match any offer made for Sands during free agency. Five exclusive-rights free agents were tendered contracts and retained DE Tommy Kelly, DT Antaj Hawthorne, T Brad Lekkerkerker, FB John Paul Foschi and WR-TE James Adkisson. ... FB Zack Crockett and G Brad Badger saved the Raiders $2,340,000 against the cap. ... DE Derrick Burgess, winner of the team's Commitment to Excellence award, was the guest of honor Friday night at a dinner at the Oakland Airport Hilton.