ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — The Oakland Raiders used the franchise tag Thursday to keep Wichita native Kamerion Wimbley under contract for 2012 and reportedly reached a long-term deal with cornerback Stanford Routt.
The Raiders originally hoped to use a $3.5 million buyback option to keep linebacker Wimbley under contract for next season for just over $4 million.
But Wimbley's agent, Joe Linta, said the NFL determined that deal violated rules prohibiting base salaries rising more than 30 percent in a year. That led to the Raiders decision to use the franchise tag, which is projected to be worth about $10 million.
"Kamerion is a great young talent and he and the Raiders are excited about him continuing his career as a member of the Silver and Black," coach Hue Jackson said.
The move was first reported by Fox Sports.
Wimbley, who played at Wichita Northwest High and Florida State, led Oakland with nine sacks last season after coming over from Cleveland in a trade for a third-round pick. Keeping him was a key priority this offseason for owner Al Davis.
"We look forward to working with Mr. Davis on a long-term deal," Linta said.
The two sides can negotiate until the current collective bargaining agreement expires, which is currently scheduled for March 3. The non-exclusive tag means Wimbley can negotiate with other teams. But any team signing him would have to give the Raiders two first-round draft picks as compensation.