Oakland Raiders Tagging Tyvon Branch May Mean Letting Michael Bush Walk

The Raiders had two players headed into free agency this season that could justifiably had the franchise tag used on them. The first is strong safety Tyvon Branch, the second is back up running back Michael Bush. Both play major roles for the Raiders and both would likely be able to find high paying, starting roles elsewhere if they hit the free agent market.

News broke today that it is going to be Tyvon Branch who gets the franchise tag as opposed to Michael Bush. This is a rather smart move by new Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie. Branch is a young and very talented safety who has been one of the Raiders most consistent defensive players since being drafted in 2008. Branch has continued to show improvement every season, and looks very much like he is on his way to being a pro bowl caliber player.

Bush, on the other hand, was with out a doubt, the best back up running back in the NFL last season. Bush has been a huge contributor for the Raiders as a result of Darren McFadden's perennial injury issues. However, despite that fact, he is still the back up to McFadden. Tagging bush would have meant vastly overpaying a back up. Something that is really not an option considering the Raiders current cap issues.

However, by not tagging Bush, the Raiders are admitting to the fact that they will be saying good bye to the best back up running back in the NFL. Bush likely has his sights set on a big contract and a starting gig, and justifiably so. It is highly unlikely that the Raiders will be able to compete with the offers that Bush will field in the free agent market as they will struggle to remain under the salary cap without overpaying for a back up.

Personally, I will be very sad to see Bush leave the Raiders, but I also understand that its just part of the game. Though it is not official that he is gone yet, I'd like to take a moment to wish him the best of luck on his new team, just as long as that team does not play in the AFC West.

Trending Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SB Nation Bay Area

You must be a member of SB Nation Bay Area to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Bay Area. You should read them.

Join SB Nation Bay Area

You must be a member of SB Nation Bay Area to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Bay Area. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.