By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Friday, February 20th, 2009 at 3:46 pm in Oakland Raiders.
The Raiders search for a strong safety continues.
A little more than a year after winning a championship with the New York Giants and cashing in with a lucrative free agent contract with the Raiders, Gibril Wilson is looking for a job.
Wilson, along with wide receiver Ronald Curry and defensive end Kalimba Edwards, were released Friday as the Raiders began to clear the books for the signings of Nnamdi Asomugha, Shane Lechler and the still-unnannounced signing of Chris Johnson.
The Raiders must be at $123 million when free agency begins Feb. 27, and were reportedly $8 million under before the signings of Asomugha, Lechler and Johnson.
A team official confirmed the moves, which were listed as transactions on Raiders.com, with no comment.
In all, the cuts cleared $6.2 million in salary cap space.
Wilson was due a $2.5 million salary and had a pending roster bonus of $4.5 million. With a salary cap figure of $8.4 million and $7 million in pro-rated bonus money from his original signing bonus of $8.4 million, it the release cleared $1.4 million in cap space but will mean $7 million in dead money under the cap.
Curry, due $3.5 million in salary, had a $4.1 cap figure and $1.8 million of pro-rated bonus money for a $2.3 million savings.
Edwards, with a cap figure just under $3.2 million with $697,500 in bonus pro-ration, clears another $2.5 million from under the cap.
The Wilson dump is the latest black mark on last year’s offseason spending spree, which included huge deals with Tommy Kelly, trade acquisition DeAngelo Hall and wide receiver Javon Walker.
Wilson finished the season with 129 tackles, second on the team to Kirk Morrison, withfour passes defensed, two interceptions and 1.5 sacks.
Despite the numbers, he wasn’t nearly the in-the-box force the Raiders had hoped for when they signed him early in free agency.
Wilson, during the first quarter of the season, called playing for the Raiders a “soap opera” as the Lane Kiffin-Al Davis feud dominated the news. It’s conceivable the Raiders offered Wilson a chance to stay at reduced rate, much as they did LaMont Jordan in 2007.
Curry’s release comes as no surprise, and in fact he was told days ago a release would be forthcoming.
Edwards started 11 games for the Raiders after arriving as a free agent from the Detroit Lions. He finished with five sacks, but had none in the last eight games, missing the last two because of injury.
For now, tackle Kwame Harris, another 2007 acquisition, remains on the roster. Should the Raiders cut Harris, it would represent an $7.2 million savings against the salary cap.