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Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Contract details hit Oakland again

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

Adam Schefter’s report that Michael Huff will likely test the free agency market because of a little-known contract clause is interesting and it shows a reason why Oakland didn’t already re-sign him.

But ultimately, I don’t think it changes much. Huff would have been expensive to keep and the Raiders have already shelled out a lot of money this offseason to re-sign players.

This is the third time the Raiders have been affected by little-known clauses this offseason. Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha became an unrestricted free agent and Oakland was forced to place a huge franchise tag on linebacker Kamerion Wimbley.

Other Oakland free agents are guard Robert Gallery (who said he will not return to Oakland), tight end Zach Miller and running back Michael Bush. The Huff contract snag also kept Kansas City from signing linebacker Tamba Hali to a long-term deal. He was franchised.

In other AFC West news on Wednesday afternoon:

San Diego Chargers’ general manager A.J. Smith told the San Diego Union Tribune that he knows this is a big draft for him. “I am very much aware of all the disappointments we have experienced on my watch,” Smith said. “I don’t like any of it. I don’t like that we are not Super Bowl champions, but we are bound and determined to one day be champions. I believe strongly in our philosophy. I believe we have the capabilities of winning a Super Bowl. We will continue to get better and grow as a team. I can’t wait to start the season and begin the chase … When you are hired to be a general manager, ownership gives you an opportunity to lead an organization. You formulate a plan for success, you surround yourself with trusting, loyal, competent people and you focus daily on winning the Super Bowl.”

With five choices in the first 89 picks, this is a critical draft for Smith.

Gary Horton looks Insider at the structure and needs of each AFC West team in an ESPN.com Insider piece.

NFL.com thinks the Chiefs could be in for a fall because of a brutal 2011 schedule.

Seattle would like to move out of the No. 25 pick. San Diego, Denver and Oakland could all be candidates to move up into the pick.

The Kansas City Star revisits the Chiefs’ 2010 draft, which was very strong.

The San Diego Union Tribune looks at the Chargers’ strong draft options at receiver.

The AFC West is well represented in a Fox Sports piece on the most overhyped draft picks of all-time.