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Coming to the Defense of Michael Huff

An interesting story yesterday was retired offensive tackle Warren Sapp telling the Dallas Morning News that watching Michael Huff practice made him want to vomit. Raiders beat writer Jerry McDonald of the ContraCosta Times somewhat defends Huff in stating that Sapp has not seen Huff practice since the 2007 season, when Huff was struggling as a miscast strong safety. Things got even worse when Huff was moved to free safety in the 2008 season and lost his starting job.

This is not the kind of press the soon-to-be free agent needs as he searches for a contract after the lockout. Things have gotten better the past two seasons, as Huff had 14 passes defensed and three interceptions in 2009 and had three more picks, seven passes defensed and four sacks in 2010.

So will the Raiders try to re-sign him? McDonald says it is doubtful.

Huff’s fate was likely sealed (as well as defensive coordinator John Marshall) last Dec. 12, when he surrendered a 48-yard touchdown pass to Jason Hill in a 38-31 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Raiders have shopped Huff the last two off-seasons and found no takers. Now that Huff has had two decent years, he could get an offer which far outweighs his true value.

It will be interesting to see how hard defensive coordinator Rob Ryan pushes the Cowboys to sign Huff. Ryan talks up his players to the media but the indication that the Raiders no longer want Huff should be a red-flag to any team lookjing to sign him. If Sapp’s stomach was turned in 2007, Ryan couldn’t have been feeling real confident in Huff himself.

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