The Raiders have made Michael Huff a very rich man. His rookie contract paid him anywhere from $20-$43 million over five years. The big variance stems from the $20 million in likely not-that-hard-to-reach incentives. His new contract is worth $32 million for four years.
Jerry McDonald reported the rumored terms of the deal on Twitter, and I think we can all sleep soundly knowing that Mr. Huff did alright for himself. The deal reportedly includes $12 million in guaranteed money. The guaranteed money comes in the form of a $7.315 million signing bonus, $685,000 base first year salary and a guaranteed $4 million base salary in 2012. Jump over for more grim facts....
The good news is the deal carries a light 2011 cap hit of just over $2.5 million. The bad news is that the cap hit in 2012 is going to be $6.8 million, and due to the dead money it would create it will be cheaper, cap wise, to keep him. Let's put this in perspective to pay of the top safeties in the league.
The average annual value of Huff's contract is $1.5 million higher than the $6.5 million that came with the franchise tag value for a safety in 2010. Huff blew that number out of the water, and remember that includes strong safeties.
Huff entered the free agent season widely regarded as the No. 2 free safety on the market—sitting behind only Eric Weddle from the Chargers. I never bought that assessment. Huff's lack of play recognition relegates him to the average portion of the free safety rankings. I was hoping for a free safety that was quicker to the ball. It is an essential skill for single high free safety system that is the backbone of the Raiders defense.
Despite my player assessment, the Raiders decided to pay Huff with a contract that fell right in line with the notion that Huff was the second best on the market. A few weeks ago, Eric Weddle signed the largest contract of any safety in the NFL. It was for five years and $40 million with $19 million guaranteed. Huff didn't pass him, but he was close.
I don't see how he is worth that much. Hopefully he proves me wrong.