Raiders ink OLB Wimbley to five-year deal

Raiders ink OLB Wimbley to five-year deal
August 1, 2011, 11:49 pm
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August 1, 2011GUTIERREZ ARCHIVE
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Paul Gutierrez
CSNCalifornia.comFollowing Sunday's practice, I asked Kamerion Wimbley if there was any progress on a long-term contract with the Raiders."We're still working," he said with a smile. "I should have something soon."As in, Monday. Wimbley agreed to a long-term deal deal that was, according to Adam Caplan of Sirius NFL Radio, a five-year, 48-million contract extension with 29 million guaranteed.The purportedly back-loaded deal gets the Raiders off the 11.3-million franchise tag they had put on the strong-side linebacker who lead the team with nine sacks last season and gives Oakland wiggle room in regards to the salary cap.According to reports, the Raiders were anywhere from 10 million to 14 million over the 120-million "soft" cap.Now, presumably the Raiders can get the business of presenting tight end Zach Miller with a respectable offer. The Pro Bowler is reportedly set to visit Seattle with deep pockets owner Paul Allen and new offensive line coach Tom Cable, the former Raiders coach.GUTIERREZ: Kicking Tatupu's tires fine -- what's the fit?
"We had some issues with the cap and we needed to try to bring in some players so it was in my best interest and the team's best interest to try to work out something long term tottery to get some players in here this year to help make us a better team," Wimbley told reporters following Monday's practice. "I was with that."I'd just like to thank Al Davis and the Raiders organization to allow me the opportunity to be here for more years and to give me the chance to prove myself and play for the Raiders."First-year Raiders coach Hue Jackson had to gameplan against Wimbley twice a year when Jackson was in Baltimore and Cincinnati and Wimbley was with Cleveland."I know what he is," Jackson said. "He's a tremendous player, a tremendous young player. I know he has nothing but an unbelievable upside ahead of him."According to Caplan's Twitter feed, the new contract makes Wimbley, 27, "the 4th or 5th highest paid LB in the NFL, putting him just over James Harrison's deal from a few years ago."Initially, the Raiders tried to utilize the "buyback" option on Wimbley after he was able to void the final year of his contract, which would have paid him 685,000 in 2011, by meeting certain playing-time incentives.But the bump in pay to 3.5 million was found to be in violation of the league's "30 percent rule," which states a player's newest deal cannot be for more than 30 percent of that player's rookie contract.So the Raiders used the franchise tag on him, which would have paid him 11.3 million. Now, he is guaranteed a reported 29 million."I just believe this organization is headed in the right direction," Wimbley said. "We have a talented roster. We have a coach that a lot of the players believe in. He's very energetica promising coach. I look forward to working for him and the other guys who are on this team."