2011 NFL Free Agency: Rules, Schedule And Oakland Raiders Plans

The 2011 NFL offseason can finally begin as the NFL Lockout is on its way out the door. Teams now have one week to conduct four months worth of offseason business, which should make for a lot of chaos. We'll be here with all your Oakland Raiders' news updates including draft pick and free agents signings, trades, and the cuts that are likely to occur. Follow along here for more, and don't forget to check out Silver and Black pride, SB Nation's Raiders blog.

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35 Total Updates since July 25, 2011
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Oakland Raiders Extend Kamerion Wimbley, Making Him Top Five Paid LB

The Oakland Raiders have re-signed outside linebacker Kamerion Wimbley to a five-year deal worth $48 million, according to Adam Caplan. Wimbley, who was originally slated to play on the franchise tag with $11.3 million in salary, will now get $29 million in guaranteed money.

Caplan reports that the structure of Wimbley's deal is similar to the deal that Terrell Suggs of the Baltimore Ravens signed in 2009. Wimbley is now one of the highest paid linebackers in the league, ranking somewhere in the top five earners at his position. To put things into perspective, Wimbley's new deal will pay him slightly more than the Pittsburgh Steelers' James Harrison, who signed a six-year, $51 million deal in 2009.

The Raiders decided to re-sign Wimbley in order to clear up some cap space. This seems to suggest that the Raiders will be active in the current free agent spending spree, and they may have to be with the recent departure of cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. The added financial flexibility provided by this deal should give Oakland a chance to bolster its team. 

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Raiders Free Agents: Khalif Barnes Re-Signs With One-Year Deal

Offensive tackle Khalif Barnes has re-signed with the Oakland Raiders for one year. The Raiders were expected to sign Baltimore Ravens tackle Jared Gaither instead, but talks fell through on Friday as the Raiders seemed to be reluctant to give Gaither, who missed all of last season with a back injury, too much guaranteed money.

Barnes, 29, has signed his third straight one-year deal with the team. He butted heads with former head coach coach Tom Cable last season because Cable didn't use him as a starter. A frustrated Barnes said that he planned to leave the Raiders earlier this offseason, but things have changed significantly since then.

Barnes played only six games with the Raiders in 2008 before taking a much larger role last year, when he played in all 16 games. Barnes only started three of those games though, and it looks like he will only increase his role in the Raiders offense this season.

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NFL Free Agents 2011: Trent Edwards Agrees To Terms With Raiders

Quarterback Trent Edwards has signed with the Oakland Raiders and will compete with Jason Campbell for the starting position. Campbell appears to be the favorite at this point and will likely open the season as the starter.

Edwards has played for both the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars during his first four seasons in the league. Last year, Edwards started two games for the Bills before being displaced by Ryan Fitzpatrick. He went on to play three games with the Jaguars, starting one of them. He averaged 120.5 yards per game with one touchdown and two interceptions with the Bills and 93.1 yards per game with one touchdown and three interceptions with the Jaguars.

Edwards gives the Raiders some depth at quarterback and provides the Raiders with some insurance just in case Campbell gets hurt. It is not surprising the Stanford grad ended up back in the Bay Area.

For more on the Raiders, head over to Silver & Black Pride.

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