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Raiders Reward Safety Tyvon Branch With Contract Extension

NBA via Oakland Raiders(NEW YORK) -- In an effort to retain their core defensive players, the Oakland Raiders have rewarded safety Tyvon Branch with a four-year extension worth $26.6 million.

Branch was originally given the franchise tag by the Raiders, but the two sides were able to come to an agreement on a long term deal as opposed to the one-year franchise tag. Branch and the Raiders had until Monday to reach a deal or he would have been forced to play under the season with a $6.2 million tender.

Branch was drafted by the team in the fourth round of the 2008 NFL Draft. Since becoming a full time starter in his second season in the league, Branch has been one of the best tacklers in the NFL. This past season, Branch recorded 109 tackles with one interception.

Branch has 327 total tackles over the past two seasons, the second most by any defensive back.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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