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Raiders face a key deadline in Wimbley deal

Kamerion Wimbley

Oakland Raiders linebacker Kamerion Wimbley (96) celebrates with teammates after a second-quarter sack of San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers in an NFL football game Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)


As the Raiders try to reduce dramatically cap a commitment that currently exceeds $145 million, the cross hairs initially have landed on linebacker Kamerion Wimbley.

He’s due to receive a base salary of $11 million in 2012, $11 million in 2013, $10 million in 2014, and $11.5 million in 2015.

But here’s the bigger problem, more than three times more significant than the $4.5 million in 2012 cap space that would be saved by cutting Wimbley now. A league source with knowledge of the Wimbley contract says that, if he’s on the roster on the fifth day of the 2012 league year (i.e., March 17), the $4.5 million becomes fully guaranteed, an $11 million salary guarantee vests for 2013 and another $2 million in guaranteed money locks in for 2014.

Thus, the total savings equate to $17.5 million. (Last month, the Raiders cut Stanford Routt to avoid a full guarantee of only $5 million.)

That said, another source tells PFT that Wimbley is willing to listen to any offers the Raiders may make, notwithstanding past reports that he won’t take a pay cut.

And here’s where tampering could actually help the Raiders. If Wimbley shops himself around and realizes no one else will pay the same amount the Raiders offer, his best bet will be to accept the Raiders’ offer and stay put.