Oakland Raiders 2012 Salary Cap: What is Kamerion Wimbley's Real Value?
John Doublin – Mar 9, 2012As the 2012 NFL off season progresses, Oakland Raiders' general manager Reggie McKenzie has been hard at work trying to reduce the salaries of some of the Raiders' players whose contracts fall within the "out-of-whack" category he referred to in his first news conference.
Thus far, Richard Seymour, Michael Huff and most recently, Carson Palmer have renegotiated their contracts and saved the Raiders an estimated $14 million in cap space.
One player that seems resistant to this idea is outside linebacker and pass-rush specialist Kamerion Wimbley. McKenzie has made at least one offer to Wimbley, but as yet Wimbley has refused to sign on the dotted line.
Why? Does he honestly believe that he's worth more than any other linebacker in the NFL? Does he really think he'll make $11 million with any other team?
To determine whether or not Wimbley is really worth his $11 million price tag, we need to compare his production with other players at his position.
Wimbley's 63 tackles ranks 75th in the league among linebackers and his seven sacks is good enough for 15th best by a linebacker.
Among the players that were more productive in each of these categories are Dallas' DeMarcus Ware, and rookies Von Miller of Denver and Ryan Kerrigan of the Redskins. All of these players are scheduled to make less than Wimbely in 2012â€”and honestly, all were better in coverage.
Ware is expected to collect $10.3 million of Jerry Jones' money, Miller is due 4.75 million of Pat Bolan's cash and Kerrigan will garner just $1.98 million of Daniel Snyder's allotted payroll.
Based on this, it would appear that Wimbley is every bit as productive and valuable to the Raiders as Ware is to the Cowboys. Does anyone really believe that?
Let's look at Wimbley's value compared to others at his position.
If all of the aforementioned players match their 2011 performances, their cost per tackle and cost per sack will look like this:
â€¢ Wimbleyâ€”$174,000 per tackle and $1,571,428.57 per sack
â€¢ Wareâ€”$177,000 per tackle and $528,328.97 per sack
â€¢ Millerâ€”$69,000 per tackle and $413,701.13 per sack
â€¢ Kerriganâ€”$31,400 per tackle and $172,380.62 per sack
When the numbers are put in this perspective, it becomes clear that Wimbley, while a good player, is one of the most expensive linebackers in the league.
Should Wimbley refuse to sign a new, more cap-friendly deal with the Raiders, McKenzie will be forced to release him. This will put Wimbley on the market as an unrestricted free agent.
When you consider the franchise tag for outside linebackers is currently $8.8 million, it's not likely that any team will offer Wimbley anything close to the $11 million of his current contract.
Fans are growing tired of Wimbley's unwillingness to renegotiate. There are many comments on the fan sites and social media stating that if he won't deal, he should be cut. The prevailing sentiment is if Huff, Palmer, and future Hall of Famer Richard Seymour are willing to restructure, Wimbley should too.
It seems that one of two things is going on with Wimbley. Either, he has an inflated sense of his worth to the team, or he knows he won't get anything close $11 million elsewhere and he's trying to make the deal he signed with the late Al Davis stickâ€”it won't.
In either case, the only thing being accomplished by his unwillingness to help the team financially is the degradation of respect and love from the fans of Raider Nation.
What Raider fans want is simple: Be more realistic about his value to the team, sign a fair deal that won't cripple the team's ability to sign free agents and draft picks and to take a page from the Seymour, Huff and Palmer playbooksâ€”swallow your pride, and realize that you are no bigger than the team.
Wimbley's response to McKenzie's latest offer is expected later today, but at the moment, there is no inkling that he's willing to step up and help the team reach the projected $120 million salary cap.
Should Wimbley refuse to sign a new deal, McKenzie will be forced to let him walk away and it's doubtful that Raider Nation will wish him well.
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