The Raiders finalized the restructuring of linebacker Kamerion Wimbley’s contract, which gets them out from under the $11.3 million figure they guaranteed him by making him their franchise tag player.
The news comes courtest of Fox Sports’ Adam Caplan, who reports Wimbley signed a five-year, $48 million deal, with $29 million guarantee.
“The new contract has to be earned, so I definitely look forward to the opportunity to go out and playing and earning every bit of the contract,” Wimbley said
In the process, the Raiders were able to lessen the cap liability for 2011, which gives them more room to sign players such as tight end Zach Miller and other free agents.
Wimbley did not practice today because the new deal he signed lumps him in with the other free agents who signed contracts since the lockout ended. That means he won’t be allowed to practice again until Thursday.
Raiders coach Hue Jackson was effusive in his praise of Wimbley.
“Kamerion Wimbley, new Raider, free agency,” Jackson said. “It’s one of our signings. Write that down everybody. No, that’s what it is. … Again, it’s just our organization continuing to lock up a good young talent. Kamerion Wimbley, what a terrific few days of practice he was having and then, all of a sudden, we got the deal done. Now, all of a sudden, he’s a free agent. But he’s here. He’s ours.”
Jackson said he always has liked Wimbley from his days with the Cleveland Browns, when Jackson’s Bengals and Ravens had to face him twice a season.
“I know what he is,” Jackson said. “He’s a tremendous player, a tremendous young player. I know he has nothing but an unbelievable upside ahead of him. Nine sacks a year ago, I expect more than that, more of that, and he’ll do that for this organization.”
Wimbley, 27, is entering his sixth NFL season and second with the Raiders. He led the Raiders in sacks last season and is counting upon even bigger things this season.
“There’s so many areas I feel like I can get better in,” Wimbley said. ”I’m working on that every day. I’m just taking it one day at a time and going in and watching film and making corrections and coming out here and working on that and perfect the craft daily.”