Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Tommy Kelly is expecting his release from his seven-year, $50.1 million contract, according to comments he made to the San Francisco Chronicle.
“The writing is on the wall,” Kelly said. “The team is going in another direction. I’m ready for the next chapter. … They’re ready, too.”
With two years remaining on his seven-year deal, $6.5 million in 2013 and $7 million in 2014, the Raiders would save $4.8 million against the salary cap next season if he were released. As Kelly referred to in his comments, the Raiders are going in a different, cost-saving direction, as they recently restructured the contracts of guard Mike Brisiel and safety Tyvon Branch in order to be $6 million under the salary cap.
Despite starting in all 16 games for the Raiders in each of the past five seasons, Kelly, 32, was not as productive in 2012. After recording seven sacks in 2010 and 7.5 sacks in 2011, he struggled to get to the quarterback and was frustrated when he finished last season with just one sack.
Aside from Kelly’s expected release, the rest of the Raiders’ defensive line is also in question. Richard Seymour, Matt Shaughnessy, Desmond Bryant and Andre Carter may all become free agents once free agency begins on Tuesday.
Austin Chang is a Writer for Sports Out West and a San Francisco Bay Area-based sports journalist. His work can also be found on Yahoo! Sports and Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @_austinchang.