As expected, the Raiders parted ways with their best pass rusher Friday, releasing outside linebacker Kamerion Wimbley before $17.5 million in guarantees was set to kick in on the contract he signed last training camp.
The Raiders confirmed the move in a post on their Twitter account.
Wimbley, with 16 sacks in two seasons, still will receive $6.5 million from the Raiders in 2012 and now is on the open market. He could add considerably more cash as the top pass rusher available.
Wimbley had seven sacks in 2011, four against the San Diego Chargers, and was 15th in the NFL with 31 knockdowns and hurries, according to the statistical service STATS, LLC.
The Raiders managed to get under the $120.6 million salary cap without cutting Wimbley, but they cleared $4.5 million more after his release.
Originally retained as an exclusive franchise player, Wimbley agreed to a contract extension under the Al Davis regime that paid him more than $11 million last year in salary and bonus money.
If Wimbley were on the roster past Friday, he would have been due an additional $4.5 million this year, his entire $11 million salary next season would have beem guaranteed, as would have $2 million in salary in 2014.
Linta, has said repeatedly in recent days that there had been no contact with the Raiders after they initially balked at taking a pay cut.
When coach Dennis Allen was hired, Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie talked of dealing getting “out-of-whack” contracts in line as Oakland put its financial house in order.
Cornerback Stanford Routt was released Feb. 3 before a big roster bonus was due, cutting the cord on a five-year extension that could have been worth as much as $54.5 million and that essentially paid Routt some $15 million last season.
Routt signed with the Kansas City Chiefs on a deal that guarantees him $6 million this season.
Oakland is also paying $2 million this season to tight end Kevin Boss, who the club released Wednesday after one year of service.