By Adam Caplan
February 21, 2012
New Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie started to trim the roster recently by releasing veteran CB Stanford Routt.
McKenzie inherited a roster with some veteran contracts that were “out of whack,” as he told the local media during his recent introductory press conference.
That roster reduction of overpriced veterans could be continuing in the coming weeks as the team attempts to get to the salary cap limit by the Mar. 13 deadline at 4:00 pm ET.
Starting SLB Kamerion Wimbley will have his entire $11 million base salary guaranteed on Mar. 17, a source confirmed. Even if the Raiders wind up releasing him, they will still owe him $6.5 million for 2012. Yes, and even if he signs a contract with another team.
Wimbley first agreed to a franchise tag salary of $11.312 million in February of 2011, although, as the linked story detailed, signing him to such a contract wasn't their original plan. The team got the veteran pass rusher off that fully guaranteed salary by extending his deal through 2015. His base salary for last season was reduced to just $750,000. However, Wimbley also received a signing bonus of $4.25 million in the restructured deal. As detailed above, they also guaranteed a portion of his 2012 salary.
The Raiders only have four linebackers under contract for 2012, and have no viable replacement for him on the roster.
Others who could be targeted for release or restructure include: DT Tommy Kelly ($6 million base salary), OLB Aaron Curry ($5.7575 million base salary), S Michael Huff ($4 million base salary/over $9.8 cap number) and DT John Henderson ($4 million base salary).
Huff’s $4 million base salary is fully guaranteed, another source confirmed, so even if McKenzie decides to release him before his $4 million roster bonus is due on Mar. 15, they’ll still owe him $4 million even if he signs with another team.
Needless to say, McKenzie has his work to do in order to get the team under the projected $120 million cap limit. They are projected by ESPN to be $11 million over at the moment.