Feb. 22, 2011GUTIERREZ ARCHIVERAIDERS PAGE RAIDERSVIDEOPaul Gutierrez
As expected, the Raiders have utilized the buyback option in linebacker Kamerion Wimbleys rookie contract, all but guaranteeing Oaklands leading sacker from last season will be back in 2011.Wimbleys agent, Joe Linta, confirmed to CSN California the Raiders sent him a letter detailing their intention of retaining the linebacker. FoxSports.com first reported the development.The Raiders held a 3.5 million option on Wimbleys contract since acquiring him in a March trade for a third-round draft pick with Cleveland. At strongside linebacker, the pass-rushing specialist had nine sacks, 58 tackles, 46 solo, one pass defensed and one forced fumble while starting all 16 games in the 2010 season.According to the report, Wimbley was able to void the final year of his contract, which would have paid him a relatively meager 685,000 this season, by meeting certain playing-time requirements. So now Wimbley, the No. 13 overall pick of the 2006 draft out of Florida State, gets what amounts to a near 3-million raise.But according to a later FoxSports.com report, Wimbleys jump in salary could be in violation of the 30 percent rule, which says that salaries cannot rise more than 30 percent from one season to the next. With Wimbleys base salary for 2010 a reported 2.115 million, a max 30 percent increase would be at 2.75 million, obviously less than the 3.5 million buyback. A big signing bonus, which is not subject to the rule, could be a way for the Raiders to get around the potential violation, though you have to wonder how and why the NFL would allow such a contract to be completed when it is apparently against the rules.Along with Wimbley, who might now be an unrestricted free agent when a new CBA is agreed upon, Oakland has re-signed defensive tackle Richard Seymour. But there has been no movement or hint on whether the Raiders plan on using its franchise tag CSNCalifornia.com suggested last week it could be placed on left guard Robert Gallery or if they plan on hiring a defensive coordinator the logical choice by default now seems to be the recently re-hired Chuck Bresnahan.Other free agents the Raiders have to make decisions on include cornerbacks Nnamdi Asomugha and Stanford Routt, free safety Michael Huff, running back Michael Bush and tight end Zach Miller. The CBA expires March 3.