Oakland Raiders Release Safety Gibril Wilson

A.J. DeMelloCorrespondent IFebruary 20, 2009

A shocking move today, as the Oakland Raiders cut ties with not only disgruntled receiver Ronald Curry and defensive end Kalimba Edwards, but their former strong safety Gibril Wilson.

It comes as a shock because Wilson signed a six year, $39 million dollar deal that included 16 million in guarantees last off-season. The move was made public through the Raiders website in transactions:

http://www.raiders.com/Team/Default.aspx?id=152

Wilson wasn't exactly at his best this year, or maybe not the role player the Raiders had thought considering he was coming from the New York Giants. Maybe that's because it's the New York Giants, one of the few teams that has a solid player at almost every position.

Wilson was expected to get paid well considering he was the best safety on the market when the 2008 free agency came along, and he cashed in well with the Raiders signing a contract that would pay him on average of $6.5 million a year.

Wilson struggled most in pass protection last year, most notably against the Ravens, and Broncos (at home). He was individually responsible for a touchdown given up in each of those games.

Gibril Wilson was most noticed in run support, often making tackles at the line of scrimmage and/or in the backfield. He tacked on 129 tackles this year for the Raiders, also notching one forced fumble with a pair of picked passes (two).

Obviously, his play was not good enough for the Raiders. Even though there has been some questionable players rotating at free safety beside him (Rashad Baker, Hiram Eugene), the Raiders must feel that they have something better in the wings (Huff?) or have their eyes set on someone via Free Agency or through the NFL Draft.

Was that enough to warrant a release? We will soon find out, as there will be a number of questions asked on this particular subject by many in the media shortly.

For the record, Wilson was structured to make $2.5 million this year in base pay. However, his $4.5 million roster bonus could have been the deciding factor.

Wilson's departure will save the Raiders $1.4 million in cap space but will be $7 million in dead money under the cap.

Nnamdi Asomugha's new two year contract worth $28.5 million guaranteed (with an option on the third, to pay him average of highest paid quarterback's in the league or $16.875 million) could have played a huge role in this decision, being as he's not only the highest paid defensive back in the NFL but one of the highest paid players as well.

Was Gibril Wilson overpaid? Yes. Could he have re-structured? Who knows. We will find out the full details soon enough...

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