Raiders S Tyvon Branch has signed his franchise tender, guaranteeing his one-year deal for the 2012 season. He will be paid $6.21 million this season.
The Raiders placed the franchise tag on Branch on March 1, limiting his options in free agency. His return means the Silver and Black keep their top tackler from each of the past two seasons. Branch has started 48 straight games for Oakland and has racked up 100 or more tackles each of the past three years.
The way we see it
Though not a surprise, this is still great news for the Raiders. Branch, who is just 25, is the team’s top defender and should be a building block for new head coach Dennis Allen for years. An aggressive run stopper, Branch could also see a rise in his sack totals next season.
The next step for the two sides will be agreeing to a long-term extension. Given the value of the safety position and Branch’s age, the defender could cash in with a big deal, especially since the Raiders have some cap room opening up next offseason.