Looking at the Raiders' cap challenge

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports the Raiders are more than $20 million over the salary cap with free agency starting in 13 days. The Oakland Tribune looks at some ways the Raiders could get under the cap. The Raiders will get under the cap, but the question is will they be able to do it without chopping any more players.

Cornerback Stanford Routt was cut earlier this month. If Oakland does cut some more players, the candidates could include linebackers Kamerion Wimbley and Aaron Curry, defensive linemen John Henderson and Tommy Kelly and defensive back Michael Huff.

Will the Raiders franchise either safety Tyvon Branch or running back Michael Bush by Monday’s deadline, considering their salary-cap issues? I believe Branch has a better chance of sticking in Oakland, either via the franchise tag or as an unrestricted free agent. He fills a more immediate need than Bush, who is a backup in Oakland.

Meanwhile, in an Insider piece, Todd McShay explains that several cornerbacks did well at the combine. That represents both good and bad news for the Raiders. It’s good that the cornerback class is deep since it is the Raiders’ biggest need. However, the Raiders’ top pick will not be higher than No. 97, unless they can trade up. So, the Raiders have to hope all of the better cornerbacks didn’t boost their value beyond that range.

In other AFC West news:

Denver quarterback Tim Tebow has said he often talks to New York Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin and that the two can relate because of the immense attention they both receive. "First Take" debates the relationship in this video.

Here are some defensive backs that caught the eye of the Broncos during the combine.

FoxSports.com thinks the Broncos may be the mystery team that wants Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III. I don’t think it’s a mystery. I think the Broncos love Griffin. But they would have a terrible time getting all the way up from No. 25 to No. 2 to get the pick from the Rams. I highly doubt Denver will find a way to draft RG3, a player it extensively followed last season.

Don’t be surprised if Tampa Bay shows interest in Denver free-agent receiver Eddie Royal. The Buccaneers are expected to look for a slot receiver and return man. Denver will likely not make a huge push to keep Royal.