Raiders apply franchise tag to safety Branch

The Raiders have informed safety Tyvon Branch he will be hit with the franchise tag, according to a league source.

The team later confirmed the move in a statement Thursday, saying it will continue to work on a long-term deal with Branch.

Branch, a fourth-round pick by the Raiders in 2008, has been a full-time starter the past three seasons, starting 48 consecutive games.

The franchise tag value for safeties is expected to be $6.2 million in 2012, down from $8.8 million in 2011.

Follow Jason La Canfora on Twitter @JasonLaCanfora.

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