On Tuesday we passed along the report that the Raiders had exercised a one-year, $3.5 million buyback option on linebacker Kamerion Wimbley. But on Wednesday we heard from a source who said that buyback would violate the 30 percent rule, and we were curious to see whether that buyback would be voided.
Now the NFL Management Council has, in fact, ruled that the buyback broke the 30 percent rule, and the Raiders have responded to that ruling by putting the franchise tag on Wimbley.
Adam Caplan of FOXSports.com was first to report that the Raiders had franchised Wimbley, and he notes that the deal between Wimbley and the Raiders was a complex situation that we haven’t seen before. There’s been a lot of confusion over the last week about what the status of Wimbley would be heading into the uncertain offseason, but now it seems clear that he will stay with the Raiders and earn a hefty salary. If he signs the franchise tender, it would be a one-year deal for more than $10 million, meaning the events of the last few days have earned Wimbley about $7 million for 2011.
The uncertainty with Wimbley may be why the Raiders were in such a hurry to get a deal done with Stanford Routt. Getting Routt’s contract done freed them up to use the franchise tag on Wimbley.
The biggest remaining question for the Raiders is whether they can hold on to tight end Zach Miller, who was also a candidate for the franchise tag.