Sportsline.com has reported that the Oakland Raiders acquired LB Kamerion Wimbley from the Cleveland Browns for a third round pick. This move marks the first acquisition by the Raiders this offseason.
Subsequently, the move likely spells the end to LB Kirk Morrison's tenure in Oakland.
I'm not sure what to make of this transaction because Wimbley has been a productive player, but has slumped since his rookie season in which he totaled 11.5 sacks.
Nevertheless, the Browns have had problems on the defensive-line, which has surely put more pressure on Wimbley to pick up their slack.
But for a third round pick? I just hope that Morrison signs with another team, so that the Raiders will regain a pick in the third round.
To play the devil's advocate, by which I mean Al Davis, this move suggests that the Raiders could convert to the 3-4 as the base defense.
After the acquisition of DE Richard Seymour from the Patriots in 2009, I have questioned whether the Raiders should convert to the 3-4.
Between DL Tommy Kelly, Seymour, Wimbley, LB Thomas Howard (RFA) and LB Trevor Scott, the Raiders currently have a good nucleus of players for the 3-4. All that is missing is a nose-tackle and another inside linebacker.
Reportedly, the Raiders are very interested in LB Andra Davis, who was recently released by the Denver Broncos, but also played with Wimbley in Cleveland.
Assuming that the Raiders sign Davis, the Raiders would only need a nose tackle to finish any conversion to the 3-4—a need that could be filled in the NFL Draft.
Nevertheless, this move also raises questions about the place of DE Matt Shaughnessy—who doesn't fit the prototype of an end in the 3-4 after a promising rookie season.
Shaughnessy could be lost as an end or will need to learn the linebacker position. Converting positions is often easier said than done.
I have more questions about this move than certainties. Nevertheless, the move has great potential, but that potential is currently clouded by mostly questions.
Reasons to Like the Acquisition of Wimbley:
With Scott and Wimbley on opposite ends in the 3-4, the Raiders could potentially have a pass rush to rival the best in the NFL.
The Raiders could regain the third round pick if Morrison signs elsewhere.
The Raiders may also expect for Howard to sign elsewhere, and that would garner a second round pick.
Reasons to Dislike the Acquisition of Wimbley:
The Raiders traded a third round pick, but could potentially offset the loss if Kirk Morrison signs elsewhere.
Questions about where Shaughnessy fits.
No certainty on where Wimbley actually fits in. He could play linebacker, but the Raiders may want him to play end.