Posted July 14, 2012

Report: Tyvon Branch, Oakland Raiders agree to four-year contract

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The Oakland Raiders and safety Tyvon Branch have agreed to a four-year contract worth $26.6 million, CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reported Saturday on Twitter. The deal takes Branch off the Raiders’ franchise tag label.

The four-year deal — which is 66 percent guaranteed — allows Branch to hit the free-agent market before age 30.

In March, the Raiders used the franchise tag on Branch, which allowed running back Michael Bush to become a free agent. Bush eventually signed with the Chicago Bears as a sort of insurance for the Bears’ stalled negotiations with their own franchise player, Matt Forte.

Teams have until Monday at 4 p.m. ET to agree to long-term deals with their franchise players. On Friday, the New Orleans Saints and quarterback Drew Brees agreed to a $100 million megadeal. Forte, meanwhile, is “hopeful” on a new long-term deal with the Bears. Things aren’t as optimistic with the negotiations between the New England Patriots and their franchise player, wide receiver Wes Welker.