The Raiders went the morning without doing anything of note but there was a flurry of Raider related activity in the afternoon. At about 12:30 PM Pacific, it was reported by numerous sources that the Raiders would, in fact, cut LB Kamerion Wimbley.
If the Raiders had not cut Wimbley by 1:00pm Pacific, his contract called for a large amount of the contract to be guaranteed and that forced the team's hand to cut him since he was not willing to come to a restructure deal that satisfied Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie.
Wimbley had an $11 million salary due this season, although not all of that counted against the salary cap. Despite being cut, the Raides will still pay Wimbley $6.5 million this season because it was guaranteed money. They get the remaining $4.5 million in savings but the salary cap savings is much smaller - reportedly only $1.5 million.
While that savings seems rather small and many ask why the Raiders would cut Wimbley over a mere $4.5 million, this year's contract was, while high, likely not the reason he was cut. If the Raiders had allowed him to remain on the roster, his entire $11 million salary for 2012 would have become guaranteed, his $11 million salary for 2013 would have become fully guaranteed and $2 million of his 2014 salary would have become guaranteed as well.
Therefore, by cutting Wimbley today, the Raiders saved $17.5 million guaranteed over the next three seasons - $4.5 million in 2012, $11 million in 2013 and $2 million in 2014.
The Raiders also made their first free agency signings this afternoon, signing RG Mike Brisiel and CB Ronald Bartell. Both were covered in yesterday's post in more detail but I'll briefly recap, here.
Brisiel is a good fit for the Raiders zone blocking scheme - he played the same scheme in Houston. The Raider OC Gregg Knapp was Houston's QB coach last season and the team's new OL coach Frank Pollack was an assistant OL coach in Houston before coming to Oakland.
According to Houston beat writer John McClain, the deal is for 5 years and $20 million. It's not known at this time how much is guaranteed and how much will count against the cap this season.
Brisiel is expected to immediately move into the starting lineup at RG to replace the hole created when the team cut Cooper Carlisle. Brisiel wore number 65 in Houston which is currently worn by OL Alex Parsons.
The Raiders also came to terms with former Rams CB Ronald Bartell. Bartell is a solid press coverage corner. He's a big guy at 6'1" and 205 lbs. He showed the coverage skills to be able to play opposite a number one receiver in St Louis. He was a cap casualty after being on IR last season for a fractured cervical vertebrae.
If healthy, he looks like a great risk. PFT's Evan Silva, who generated that site's top 100 free agents, had Bartell at his number 32 overall and the 6th cornerback on the list. He wore number 24 with the Rams, which is worn by Michael Huff on the Raiders.
As a side note, Wimbley is now at 5th place in the PFT top 100 and Michael Bush is at 22.
One of the players that many Raiders fans had been hoping for, Brisiel's former teamate and Houston's starting center Chris Myers re-signed with the Texans today. There are still options at center on the market but two of the top - Myers and former GB center Scott Wells are no longer options - Wells signed with the Rams, also today.
Center, Linebacker, backup QB and Cornerback (still) are the Raiders biggest areas of need. Defensive line is also an area the team will need to address.
Centers still available include last year's starter Samson Satele and former Rams center Jason Brown.
There are many good linebackers remaining on the market as there has not yet been much action at that position.
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Benjarvus Green-Ellis reamins unsigned. I really hope we make a run for him but highly unlikely.
I still would like to see another guy signed for the OL. Maybe someone like Ryan Diem, Mike Pollak, Jake Scott, Dan koppen, Todd McClure or Jeff Saturday can be picked up cheaply if they are not garning much attention.
@nilbymouth I think Benjarvus would be great too, he's very Michael Bush kind of running back. If NE were to let him go, we could ver well have him signed. When it comes to OL, we need a Center. I know the Wiz kid and Mike Brisiel have played Center before, but they are top tier guards. Now, Satele is still there and I see no reason why he shouldn't be back if he's cheap enough. He is no Chris Myers, but he's acceptable until we find "the next Raiders great center".
I agree Wiz is better suited to be a great Guard than Center also, but I think talent wise we will find it easier to find a better quality starter at Guard than Center in Free Agency and one who won't be overly expensive. I would rather have someone like Diem, Pollak or Scott signed to play Guard and move Wiz to Center than keep Wiz at Guard and re-sign Satele. I think talent wise that would be a better OL.
That is a great point. And one I agree the team needs to decide. Keep Wiz at Guard and leave him there or move him to Center and leave him there. None of this switching and changing. At very least I still would like to see Satele bought back (cheaply) and he can challenge for the Center position either with another Free Agent signing or with a Rookie. At very least Satele is good cheap depth.
@nilbymouth Yeah, I see your point, but let's see the big picture: If you play Wiz at Center this season and probably the next, you will probably have to leave him there for good. Now, if you can keep Satele or even sign somebody else to play Center this year, you keep developing Stephen as a great guard and maybe next year you can find a much better center.
Winston signed with the Chiefs. If we weren't able to get him I was at least hoping the Cheifs wouldn't!
Also Trevor Scott now signed with the Patriots. Woul not be surprised at all to see him have a very good year with the Patriots.
@nilbymouth Scott is a big questionmark in my mind. I think he's pretty talented and hes a very good player if you put him in the right situation. On the other hand, great defensive players have busted in NE. You just don't know what's gonna happen there.
True, but I think they will put Scott in the right situation to succeed. They could get a decent amount of sacks from Tully Banta-Cain and I think Scott is a better rusher than him.
Disappointed in the loss of Schilens to the Jets. Chaz had such incredible potential, but due to his injury issues, I figured the Raiders would part ways with him. If Schilens can stay healthy, the Jets will have signed themselves an excellent receiver who could easily have 60+ receptions and over 1000 receiving yards. Staying healthy will be the key to his success. I like the signing of Brisiel. A quality offensive lineman is always a great signing. Not to sure on the signing of Bartell. His neck injury was very serious, and this signing might be way too risky considering the depth of the neck injury he suffered. Michael Irvin suffered a similar injury and it ended his career. Hope it works out for him and the Raiders, but to me, this signing is a definite reach. Now that Wimbley is gone, the Raiders need to throw out the money and sign Tulloch. The guy is a beast, and we need a player of his intensity to replace the talents of Wimbley. Tulloch has a very strong work ethic and has that Rock Cartwright type attitude, and is the type of leader who could help elevate McLain to the level of player we all know that he is capable of becomming...
@Spartacus Dude, trust me. With Sanchez throwing the ball not even Jerry Rice would look nice. Poor Schilenz.
I hope we can survive without Tulloch since I don't see Reggie throwing to his face the big bunch of green paper he wants (and probably deserves).
@Black_Nightmare @Spartacus Bingo. I say too bad for Chaz. He looked to be a solid WR for us a couple years back, but injuries kept him on the bench long enough for us to find 3 or 4 guys with more promising upside. Not his fault. Now he gets stuck with Sanchez - a guy who didn't exhibit any fire at all when his team was playing for post season survival in the final game of the year. How is Sanchez going to react now that the Jets kneejerked themselves into signing him longterm after Peyton rejected them? My guess is we'll see Sanchez knocking back more hotdogs on the sidelines than opposing defenses on the playing field. You can count on some teams bad habits rising to the surface year in and year out - the Jets always find a way to screw up their QB situation.
@Black_Nightmare @Spartacus i agree. spart, don't concentrate on Schilens. was OFFENSE OUR PROBLEM IN 2011? no. it was defense. all focus and the rest of the money should go there... that means DJ Henderson, Spencer... if you want to spend some big bux on offense, bring in Winston... V-Wis-Brisiel-?-Winston ... that looks like the best zone blocking OL in the NFL to me.
we are set with receivers - Moore, DHB, Ford, Murphy - i think you need to go back and watch Palmer throwing to these guys last year spartacus ... it's clear you forgot... the passing game climbed from bottom of the league with campbell to top 15 with Palmer... and that was WITHOUT PRACTICE AND PRESEASON with the Raiders... and not to mention it was DHB's first year as a solid WR and Moore's rookie year (and Ford was hurt) ... give them an offseason, and i swear on gods green earth you will be saying 'Glaz who?' ...
@nilbymouth And somehow... I mean, we always regarded him like a great prospect, but suddenly he's a little too old to be a prospect. He should have shown something last year when he was actually the one WR who didn't hurt himself, but he played the ninja role, going completely unnoticed
As for the Secondary, if we sign no one else it won't look to bad on paper:CB 1 and 2: Huff and Bartell
CB 3 and 4: DVD and Chekwa
Not great (not a huge fan of Mitchell) but not entirely that bad either.
Any news on Branch being signed to a long term contract yet?
@nilbymouth LaRon Landry could be a potential target in order for Huff to change to CB, TB33 to FS and Landry as SS with MM34 in on nickel (actually pretty solid when covering TEs imo)..
@nilbymouth yea i'd love for Reggie to grab someone better than MM33 ... he's a joke and belongs as a ST's gunner at best. i would love for someone to push Huff... seeing as he's still going to get paid GOOD MONEY in the upcoming years... he needs someone breathing down his neck for the stating FS job.
i like Spencer coming in for veteran leadership should Chekwa or DVD fail/get injured ... he can be a steal because the man would be serviceable, and come very cheap. that way we can go out and grab someone like DJ Henderson or Lawson to fill the void at OLB ... something needs to be done to the linebacking crew ASAP! that's all i know.
@nilbymouth Well, Shawntae Spencer has been around. I think he would be the best CB of all the group. I still think DVD and Chekwa will have a chance to fight for a starting role. Huff should stay at safety.
With Myers and Koppen both off the market, do we go after a Center like Dan Koppen or Mike Pollak instead as a stopgap till next year? Or maybe a Guard like Ryan Diem and move Wiz over to Center?
TIME TO GO GET CURTIS LOFTON PLEASE! i'm not happy to hear that about Myers. Obviously Satele is going to be released soon... i guess this means Wis is going to take it over... and it could then mean Gallery may be coming back as LG HAHA! i swear Gallery would be solid again if he could stay healthy... no dependability whatsoever... and it's unfortunate...
anyway, Jerry Jones snagged Connor, CARR, and Poole, any of the 3 we could have used in a big way. .. and speaking of Mr. Botox... who is in "TERRIBLE CAP TROUBLE" according to most analysts out there ... but im pretty sure you dont have to be back down for 2 months or so... am i wrong? i think that's why we see JJ making those few solid signings to get a defense in place... means Reggie can go over the limit here. (remember, we dont have a 1st 2nd or 3rd round pick... a lot of non-dedicated money is currently going into the Raiders draft)
we truly made a good start by getting Bartel to shore up the defensive issues... and it had better not be done yet. i say Lofton is worth a big chunk of change to put a tackling machine behind our DL. he wants 9 mill a year, start at 5 million and inch up from there to about 7 million... if he doesn't want that, then walk away! Lofton will be signed by someone soon... Curtis is a football lover and everyone loves having him around... just the injection of talent/class this defense needs to turn things around.
@DARKKUSH agree with the needs mentioned by asher totally...Lofton asking too much from what i read..like conner too....Satele is a FA so we can sign him and for all we know rhey have a handshake agreement to be revealed shortly....did that last year...like Bartel and hope he really brings it this year.
@Black_Nightmare @dondiraider yea as of right now he is. his price tag will go down... maybe they could swoop in then. the man is worth 6 to 7 mill a year. hey, Kam was giong to get that much... give it to a guy that deserves it. we need a tackler in the front 7. name me one currently. and dont say Curry. you really think Reggie is satisfied with McWhiff and coo coo curry?!
same with Satele? they have no interest in keeping him... i promise you. I guess word is Brisiel can play center as well... could get interesting.
@nilbymouth @Black_Nightmare @dondiraider YES good goin on Grant. he's on no one's radar... much like Bowman wasn't in the draft when the niners snagged him. low and behold... Grant is Willis/Bowman's trusted back up .... that would be GREAT value... something needs to be done... i guess i just have no patience in FA... esp this year with no high draft picks