Feb. 24, 2011GUTIERREZ ARCHIVERAIDERS PAGE RAIDERSVIDEOPaul Gutierrez
Partly because the NFL disallowed Oakland imparting its buyback option on Kamerion Wimbley the resultant bump in pay violated the leagues 30-percent rule the Raiders have used the franchise tag on the strongside linebacker.
REWIND: Raiders use buyback option on LB Wimbley
The tag is worth an estimated 10.191 million for the 2011 season and essentially protects Wimbleys rights for the Raiders as both parties could potentially still negotiate on a long-term deal if and when a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is reached.Kamerion is a great young talent, coach Hue Jackson said in a release, and he and the Raiders are excited about him continuing his career as a member of the Silver and Black.The Raiders held a 3.5-million buyback option on Wimbleys rookie contract and his agent, Joe Linta, confirmed to CSN California on Tuesday receiving a letter from the team detailing their intentions of retaining him. But because his previous base salary was 2.115, a jump to 3.5 million would have been a 65.5 raise. Franchise tags, obviously, are not subject to the 30 percent rule.Linta hinted in an email to CSN California that his client was not thrilled with the buyback option at the time.We look forward to working with Mr. Davis on a long term deal, Linta wrote in the email. Were happy that management council and NFLPA agreed with us that the Raiders couldnt buyback because of violation of 30 rule.After being acquired from Cleveland in a March trade for a third-round draft pick, Wimbley led the Raiders with nine sacks. The fifth-year pro and No. 13 overall pick out of Florida State in the 2006 draft also had 58 tackles, 46 solo, one pass defensed and forced one fumble in starting all 16 games. His performance voided his rookie contract, which would have paid him just 685,000 this season.The Raiders have also re-signed defensive tackle Richard Seymour to a two-year, 15-million deal and cornerback Stanford Routt to a reported three-year, 31.5-million contract, seemingly pricing themselves out of the coming Nnamdi Asomugha sweepstakes. Unless, of course, the All-Pro cornerback concedes to a hefty hometown discount.
REWIND: Raiders announce Seymour signing
Other free agents still out there for Oakland include tight end Zach Miller, running back Michael Bush, left guard Robert Gallery and free safety Michael Huff.RELATED: Raiders don't confirm Routt signing
The Raiders were pretty darn good last season. A 12-4 record proved that point. There was plenty of talent on a team with a penchant for high-wire acts in victory that masked the fact there were holes on the roster.
They need to be filled for the Raiders to improve in 2017, and new players will be imported through free agency and the draft.
Left tackle Donald Penn is excited to see who gets added, but said there’s no doubt talent is coming to Oakland. He speaks for Raiders players, who have faith that general manager Reggie McKenzie will make the right moves.
“Things that Reggie has done in past drafts have been great, and we’re looking forward to seeing what he brings back towards us,” Penn said recently during an in-studio appearance on NFL Network. “We can’t wait to get back out there healthy. We’re ready to hit the football world with a storm.”
While new guys are coming, a few might head out. The Raiders have several unrestricted free agents. Penn wants to keep his guys around – he mentioned running back Latavius Murray by name -- though he has some ideas for McKenzie’s checklist.
The Raiders don’t need much with most key players under contract – the Raiders should be less active in free agency over past offseasons – but a few key components could put this team over the top.
“If we stick to Reggie’s plan, we’ll be great,” Penn said. “I know he’s going to have a great draft, add a couple little pieces here and there – maybe somebody in the secondary to help out a little bit.
"On offense, you could always use a weapon. Maybe we get another receiver to take (pressure off Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper), but we have a good nucleus right now.”
Derek Carr is on the mend. The Raiders franchise quarterback had surgery to repair his fibula shortly after he broke it in a Week 16 victory over Indianapolis, and is recovering well during the offseason.
Carr insisted on intense rehab this winter in an attempt – however unlikely it may have been – to return should the Raiders have played in the Super Bowl. It slowed to a normal pace after the Raiders' loss at Houston in the postseason’s opening round, but those in contact with him say he’s making strides.
Left tackle Donald Penn was recently in contact with Carr, and provided an update on Monday during an in-studio appearance on NFL Network.
“I texted Derek (a few) days ago checking in,” Penn said, “and he said he’s almost 100 percent.”
Surgically-repaired broken filbulas take significant time to heal, and the Raiders plan to be conservative with their MVP candidate during the offseason. Derek Carr’s brother and NFL Network analyst David Carr, who was on set with Penn on Monday, said Derek could be back for offseason work.
“He’s doing good,” David Carr said. “He’s walking around already, stretching it out. You can’t do a lot for the bone, right? But he’s going to be back. He’s going to get a whole full offseason in. That’s going to be the best part.”