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Sunday, July 31, 2011
In the end, Michael Huff stays in Oakland

By Bill Williamson

I am a bit surprised that the Oakland Raiders have re-signed safety Michael Huff.

The consensus was that the former No. 7 overall pick would likely leave. That thought was fueled by the combination that he could have other suitors (his homestate Dallas Cowboys were mentioned often) and the fact that the Raiders wouldn’t overpay for the player who has had an up-and-down NFL career.

Yet, in the end, Huff stays in Oakland. It appears there wasn’t a strong market for him. The money Huff received hasn’t been reported yet. Huff’s signing means the Raiders have some cap room and perhaps a Zach Miller re-signing on the horizon. Miller is a much more important player than Huff.

Don’t get me wrong: Huff is a professional and his presence gives the Raiders some stability. He made strides in 2010, but he also had some issues in coverage and in pass and run support. He doesn’t always take the best angle on plays. I know many Raiders fans get frustrated with him at times. Earlier in free agency, the Raiders were connected to San Francisco safety Dashon Goldson, but his addition is not likely now.

Huff signing is part of an interesting weekend for Oakland. On Friday, the team saw its best player, cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, sign with Philadelphia. Then, reports came out that Oakland would shore up its offensive line by adding massive Baltimore left tackle Jared Gaither. Yet, Saturday, Gaither wasn’t signed, likely because of medical issues. He missed the entire 2010 season with a back injury. The Raiders re-signed tackle Khalif Barnes and added backup quarterback Trent Edwards on Saturday.