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Raiders sign free agent linebacker Philip Wheeler

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The Raiders have signed their new starting outside linebacker to replace Kamerion Wimbley. He is Philip Wheeler formerly of the Indianapolis Colts. He joins the team on a one year deal.

Wheeler was originally drafted in the third round out of Georgia Tech in 2008. He appeared in every game his first three seasons with the Colts and started 11 games last season. He was the starter nearly all last season and totaled 85 tackles before he suffered a foot injury and was lost for the final three games of the season.

At 6-2, 245 pounds, Wheeler is nearly the exact same size and weight as Wimbley. However, he was far more productive last season than Wimbley. He will also come a considerable amount cheaper.

Wheeler visited the Raiders on Thursday and left saying great things about the team and its fans. As soon as he mentioned on Twitter that he was visiting the team, he asked who he should sign with and the Raiders fan response was tremendous. This response prompted him to Tweet "Dang Raider Nation ain't no joke. They deep. Lol". He later tweeted "Raider Nation showed love. Preciate that. Legendary place."

Wheeler had also received interest from the Dolphins but chose the Raiders. The fans get credit for an assist on this one. It seems rare that fans feel like they make a difference. But it appears they made all the difference. Wheeler appreciates it and if he plays well for the team, the fans will continue to appreciate him right back.