Kamerion Wimbley #96 at Oakland Raiders training camp
The Raiders took right up until the deadline to cut Kamerion Wimbley, trying to get him to re-structure his deal. That restructure would undoubtedly involve a paycut. There was no way around it with the way his contract was structured. But Wimbley stood firm and wouldn't work with the team to lower his cap number. It eventually forced the hand of the Raiders in cutting him.
He has now joined the Titans and taken considerably less to play with them than he was making with the Raiders. He was scheduled to make $11 million from the Raiders and he just signed on with the Titans on a 5-year $35 million deal. That is an average of $7 million per season-a $4 million per season pay cut.
It makes one wonder why he didn't just re-sign with the Raiders for that money. He didn't even visit other teams besides the Titans. He showed up to the ball and married the first person to ask him to dance. The thinking is that he just likes feeling wanted. He didn't feel wanted in Oakland as they were asking him to take less money than he was promised a season ago or hit the bricks. The team also stopped reaching out to him and his agent in the week leading up to his cutting.
In Tennessee he will also be an every down pass rusher. He will be lining up as an every down defensive end which will be much harder work on a game by game basis than he had as a part time pass rushing outside linebacker as he was with the Raiders.
It hearkens back to last offseason when Nnamdi Asomugha left the team for the Eagles. In both cases, the Raiders stopped calling. They crossed their arms and either waited for the player/agent to give them the numbers they had targeted or simply didn't call. In the end Asomugha actually signed for far less than anyone expected. He went from making an average of $15 million per season in Oakland to $11 million per season in Philadelphia-- again, a $4 million per season paycut.
In the past, that kind of stubborn dealing would have been blamed on Al Davis. But now Al cannot be blamed. Well, outside of having given the unreasonable contract to Wimbley in the first place.
Reggie McKenzie has to clean up the cap room and it is not hard to make up your mind about a players contract when you have no choice. Wimbley was unable to see the logic in that and left to take a lesser deal with "a team that wanted him". He has said he loved playing here, loved the fans, and loved his teammates. It seems with the new regime, he felt like he wasn't a priority.
Other Raiders who are still here worked with the team on their contracts. Granted, most of them didn't actually take pay cuts. But guys like Aaron Curry and Cooper Carlisle (after he was cut and re-signed) did. Curry took his pay cut for the same reason Wimbley took his in Tennessee-- he felt wanted.
We tend to forget that these guys have feelings that come into play. It's an emotional game and as much of it is a business, sometimes you just have to follow what your heart tells you. Even if your heart is wrong.