Raiders continue to clear cap space

The Oakland Raiders pulled the plug by jettisoning two veterans, guard Cooper Carlisle and defensive tackle John Henderson.

The moves should give Oakland decent breathing room in its salary cap and it should soon be able to start pursuing some free agents. The team is also expected to cut linebacker Kamerion Wimbley within the next 72 hours unless he restructures his deal. But, Wimbley has not been interested in a pay cut.

Carlisle’s agent, Frank Murtha, said there is a chance the Raiders could bring Carlisle back. He is a solid zone-blocking guard, and the Raiders are returning to that scheme. However, Carlisle will entertain other offers in the meantime.

Because they had to cut five players for salary-cap reasons, the Raiders have more holes to fill than expected. The team desperately needs to get in on the cornerback market and it may need to add some offensive linemen as well.

Henderson was cut after failing his physical. The Raiders shocked the league last year when they gave the rotational player a two-year, $8 million deal. The aging Henderson was valuable against the run, but his health has been an issue.

These moves will help kick start Oakland’s foray into free agency, although the team is expected to be bargain hunters anyway.