Last week word spread that the Raiders had given Kamerion Wimbley a contract ultimatum. Either the sack the specialist will have to restructure his deal or he’ll be free to seek a new one elsewhere. Now the same man who broke the story, Jason La Canfora of NFL Network, is reporting that Wimbley and the Raiders have begun talks on restructuring the the current contract.
The news is somewhat encouraging only in the sense that Wimbley is willing to have his representation listen to what the Raiders are looking for in a new salary structure. It shows that there is somewhat of an understating on behalf of Wimbley of the current cap crisis in Oakland.
It also says that Wimbley likes playing in the Bay for the silver and black. However by no means does that guarantee we’ll see #96 rushing the passer for the Raiders next season.
As it stands Wimbley holds all the chips in this game. No matter what the Raiders choose to do with Wimbley’s contract they’re on the hook for $6.5-million he’s owed. Cutting Wimbley would only save the franchise money down the road.
From Wimbley’s perspective it is pretty much a win-win.
If he departs Oakland he’ll do so as a coveted free agent that is already guaranteed to make nearly $7-million next season. That kind of cash will make it much easier for another team with cap issues to offer a back-loaded deal which could mean more future guarantees.
Should Wimbley like what he hears from the Raiders then the language of his new deal will likely call for less money upfront but could give him some added bonuses down the road.
No matter the case Wimbley will be taking a pay cut. That much is clear.
The contract Al Davis gave him was a once in a lifetime kind of deal. No other NFL franchise will be willing to pay that kind of cash for a one-dimensional player. Sure, Wimbley’s as good rushing the passer with one hand in the dirt as he is standing up but that isn’t exactly the kind of versatility that will help a team like the Raiders. Oakland needs run stuffing linebackers capable of covering tight ends and the occasional slot receiver. At least they did with Al Davis calling the shots. That will change in the coming season.
What won’t change is the cap conundrum Reggie McKenzie is dealing with. At least it won’t change unless men like Wimbley are willing to play ball. So far that would seem to be the case. But that whole situation could take a much difference course depending on what is discussed in the coming days.