Oakland Raiders free safety Michael Huff will be a free agent once the new CBA is finally signed. That means the Raiders will need to decide if it will be worth bidding on Huff and likely overpay for him. While the team has not made any comments on whether or not they will try to keep Huff, at least one former Oakland Raider thinks he will not be worth it.
In an interview with the Dallas Morning News, former Raider defensive tackle Warran Sapp said that watching Michael Huff practice made him want to vomit.
Sapp was still on the Raiders for Huff's first two years in the league and was not impressed with what he saw from the first round pick out of the University of Texas. According to Sapp, Huff was always the last person to practice and the first one to leave. In addition, Sapp said that the scout offense would often make Huff look foolish as he barely tried to make plays.
That work ethic will remind the Raider Nation of another high draft pick who thought that because he succeeded in college he did not have to keep working on his game once he reached the NFL. JaMarcus Russell is without a doubt one of the biggest draft busts in the history of the NFL. Now, it appears that the apathy which doomed Russell to a life of codeine and house foreclosures may be the reason Michael Huff has not lived up to his potential either.
Huff was a star at Texas and was chosen seventh overall by the Raiders in the 2006 NFL draft. Unfortunately for the Raiders, he never became a star in the NFL. Huff's career has been lackluster at best since he started playing for the Raiders. Rather than a highlight reel of picks and crushing hits, Huff has produced a reel of running backs making him look foolish in the secondary.
The 2010 season was without a doubt Huff's best season as a pro. However, it begs the question, was his play due to the fact that he has grown as a player or due to the fact that he wanted to cash in on free agency. Personally, I feel that Huff's best season is owed to a combination of a desire to get paid, being surrounded by better players on defense and luck.
The Raiders had a massively improved defensive line last season. As anyone who follows the game of football closely will tell you, a good defensive line is a secondary's best friend. Pressure on quarterbacks often forced rushed passes, giving the Raiders secondary a chance to make plays. In addition, if you go back and look at tape of Huff's interceptions last season, a number of them looked like nothing more than luck with a tipped ball falling right into Huff's hands.
While the Raiders are remarkably thin at the free safety position, re-signing a guy who lacks the drive to be a championship caliber player is simply not in the best interests of the team, especially at the cost Huff will likely demand in free agency.
As always, for a more in depth look at the Oakland Raiders, check out Silver and Black Pride.