The Raiders signed former Colts LB Philip Wheeler Friday to a one-year deal at an undisclosed amount. Wheeler has started 24 games over the past three seasons for Indianapolis, including 84 tackles in 11 starts (this past year. He will likely take the “Sam” linebacker spot vacated by Kamerion Wimbley, who was cut earlier this off-season. While Wheeler does not rush the passer as well as Wimbley, he is a better run defender, and a solid player overall.
This move gives Oakland much needed depth at the linebacker position. Wheeler also offers versatility, as he can play OLB in a 4-3 or ILB in a 3-4. He may prove to play a key role in Dennis Allen’s multiple-look defense. If Wheeler proves to be a good fit, the Raiders can lock him up long-term, as he is only 27 years-old.