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2011 NFL Free Agent Michael Huff Wants to Remain an Oakland Raider

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Oakland Raider free agent, Michael Huff, gave an interview on Blog Talk Radio. I linked to it in Browsing for Booty earlier, but I thought it was interesting enough to warrant its own post. In lots of ways, Huff still talks like a Raider, and when asked if he wanted to stay he flat-out said, "Of course, I want to stay there."

Huff's departure seemed like a forgone conclusion earlier in the offseason, and this was certainly not something I was opposed to. But as time has gone the fact is his return is something the fans and the team needs to consider. The Raiders didn't draft anyone to play safety, and with the likelihood that the 2010 rules governing free agency will be adopted the slim free safety free agent pool just go slimmer. This leaves the Raiders with Hiram Eugene, Stevie Brown and a handful of free safeties who were backups last season as options for 2011. Take the jump....

Of course, these are the exact reasons his return seems unlikely. And for as much as Huff still talks like a Raider he also lets it be known that he realizes this is a business. I don't expect him to pass up on financial security out of loyalty. Some team is going to overpay for Huff. I expect either the Cowboys or Texans to offer a little more long-term security than what the Raiders would or should offer.

There may be another possibility. As we discussed, due to the weird 30 percent rule the Raiders could not sign Huff to an extension. He also had a clause in his contract that stated if the Raiders were to place a tender on him they would have to pay him $6.3 million. The Raiders may be able to still block Huff from hitting the open market and lock him up for that $6.3 million once football starts up again, but no one knows for sure since there are no rules in place governing free agency at the moment.

I think that is way too much money for Huff. I think he is a below average free safety. He is habitually a step late, because he lacks instincts and recognition. Still, if there is no cap in 2011, and they can lock him up for just one-year I think they should do it. Hopefully, Stevie Brown takes the next step and makes the job his own, but Huff would be a decent one-year insurance policy.