About the only mystery surrounding Kamerion Wimbley is when he’ll be released. Will Reggie McKenzie drop the prized pass rusher prior at the start of free agency or after? Otherwise you can pretty much kiss Wimbley goodbye.
Jerry McDonald reports that the Raiders and Wimbley are at a stalemate. Oakland has made its final offer to Wimbley hoping he’ll remain a Raider for less pay.
From Wimbley’s perspective it makes no sense to take a pay cut. Not when he’s guaranteed to get $6.5-million from Oakland no matter what happens and not when some other team out there will give him another contract.
On McKenzie’s side of the fence it doesn’t make any more sense to pay top dollar for a one-dimensional defender. If Oakland were in a better place defensively then Wimbley’s services would be a luxury, though it still wouldn’t justify his expensive game checks. However with a new approach being taken both on the field and in the front office the massive dollar amounts given to mediocre defenders was dragging down the franchise.
Wimbley’s deal is the last major contract McKenzie can rid the franchise of in hopes of getting into a better place for free agency. One has to wonder if the Raiders even made a serious effort at all to retain Wimbley at a reasonable rate. Could be that they made him a one-time offer with no room for negotiation. After all, Oakland could have easily lost second half leads last season with or without Wimbley.
It’s hard to find fault with either side in this situation.
Wimbley didn’t ask to be traded to the Raiders nor did he request to be given the franchise tag and then a ridiculous raise. That was all the doing of Al Davis. Therefore why should he take less money just because of Oakland’s cap situation? No other Raiders was asked to take a pay cut. Singling out Wimbley is unfair in many regards.
By the same token McKenzie inherited a financial mess worse than Wesley Snipes’ tax filings. He had nothing to do with all the money thrown at players hardly worth their eight-figure salaries. Still it is his job to make sure he can field a competitive team while being in compliance with the NFL’s financial guidelines.
Just chalk this one up to politics of the business. Where the impending move could affect the Raiders is if Wimbley stays in the AFC West. In the right defense Wimbley could rack up some sick sack totals. In Oakland’s 4-3 base Wimbley just wasn’t the right fit. He’s not a true linebacker nor is he a defensive end. Wimbley is an athletic defender that fits the hybrid mold best suited for the popular 3-4 schemes utilized in the league these days. The irony is Dennis Allen’s new defensive vision could have been to Wimbley’s benefit, just not at $11-million a year.