Monday, February 28, 2011
Updated: March 1, 4:35 PM ET
Agent: Kamerion Wimbley to sign tender
By Bill Williamson
A surprise franchise-tag recipient, Oakland linebacker Kamerion Wimbley is not wasting any time in signing his tender.
Wimbley's agent, Joe Linta, said Monday night that the five-year veteran will sign the tender soon. Oakland franchised Wimbley on Thursday, hours before the deadline.
The franchise tag is speculative now because of the uncertainty surrounding the collective bargaining agreement for the 2011 season. Linta said he expects the franchise number for outside linebackers to be $11.3 million.
A league source confirmed to ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter that Wimbley's tag will be worth roughly $11.2 million because the Raiders alkso designated the linebacker as an exclusive free agent.
Oakland hadn't originally planned to give Wimbley the franchise tag. Wimbley attempted to exercise a one-year, $3.5 million contract buyback that was written into his original deal with Cleveland, which drafted him in the first round in 2006. However, the buyback violated the NFL's 30-percent pay raise rule. Instead of risking the loss of Wimbley in free agency, the Raiders elected to franchise him.
Wimbley, 27, was acquired for a third-round pick by Oakland last March. He had a team-high nine sacks for the Raiders (8-8).
Linta said Wimbley decided to sign the tender because a long-term deal couldn't be reached at this time. Linta said he had several conversations with the Raiders in recent days and believes a long-term deal can be reached with Oakland after the league's labor issues are resolved.
"There was nothing acrimonious," Linta said. "Kamerion likes it out there."
The Raiders have been one of the most aggressive teams so far this offseason as most clubs wait until a new CBA is in place before making moves.
Along with the Wimbley deal, Oakland gave cornerback Stanford Routt a $31.5 million, three-year deal; handed defensive tackle Richard Seymour a $30 million, two-year contract with $22.5 million in guarantees; signed defensive tackle John Henderson to an $8 million, two-year deal and signed special teams standout and backup running back Rock Cartwright to an undisclosed contract.
"What we did is protect our football team," Raiders senior executive John Herrera said Monday. "These are moves that protect our franchise and protect our team and put us in a position to move on."
Bill Williamson covers the AFC West for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.