When free agency began last season, there were a few decent linebackers on the market. One of those linebackers was Philip Wheeler. The Raiders avoided the first big wave of signings as they didn't have a lot of money to spend on free agents. After that first wave was over, Wheeler was still out there. That's when Raiders fans came out in force to court the promising young linebacker.
He said then that Raiders fans were a big reason he made the decision to sign with the team. But he signed a one year minimum contract which would mean he would find himself in the same position again this year.
His one year in Oakland was everything he and the team had hoped it would be. He proved he is worthy of a nice contract by starting every game as the Raiders leading tackler and defensive play caller.
Now, with free agency nearing, the Raider fans are back at it. This time even more so than last time because they have seen him step up on Silver and Black and the fans know they picked the right player when they went all in for his services last off-season.
In turn, Wheeler is soaking it up. He appeared on Sirius XM NFL radio today and shot down the notion presented by Pat Kirwin that the Raiders cap situation would keep them from being able to bring him back this season. This had Raiders fans hopeful their team will indeed retain his services next season and beyond.
Just as before, Raiders fans show the love on Twitter and Wheeler is sure to retweet them to show he is listening.
He showed last off-season that fan support goes a long way with him. He also showed he is willing to prove his worth when he signed a one-year minimum deal. He has proven his worth. The fans continue to heap him with support. He already has the team's support.
This is the perfect situation for both Wheeler and the Raiders. Both sides would regret a deal not getting done. The fans again are doing their part to see one of their favorite players suit up in Silver and Black again. It should get done and I expect it will.
To show your support for Philip Wheeler, hit him up on Twitter @Philgood50