With safeties Ed Reed and Bernard Pollard no longer on the roster, the Baltimore Ravens desperately need to add some talent at the position before the 2013 campaign gets under way.
While the free agency well hasn’t completely dried up, the Ravens are going to need to make a move soon before all starting-caliber talent has been scooped up. One route their exploring in an effort to solidify the safety spot is free agent Michael Huff, formerly of the Oakland Raiders.
Huff, 30, has never managed to assert himself as an elite NFL safety despite his standing as a Top 10 draft pick. He was a highly coveted prospect out of Texas in 2006, which convinced the Raiders to spend the No. 7 overall pick on him that year. Since then, though, he hasn’t lived up to his billing.
While Huff hasn’t quite been the dynamic playmaker he was thought to be, the veteran still has plenty to offer the Ravens. Primarily, Huff’s versatility and ability to play numerous positions (free safety, strong safety and cornerback) make him an intriguing target.
If signed by the Ravens, Huff would likely play free safety. That is, if Reed isn’t back in Baltimore.
At the moment, the Ravens are putting their efforts into re-signing Reed and keeping him away from the Houston Texans. If that doesn’t happen, though, bringing in Huff could be a decent fallback plan. Even if Reed does return, Huff could easily take over for James Ihedigbo, who is currently penciled in as the starting strong safety.
Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome was a big fan of Huff coming out of college and likely wouldn’t mind the opportunity to sign the former Longhorn. The only issue that could stand in the way of a deal is money.
While the Ravens do have some salary cap space available, there are still two players that the Ravens have in their crosshairs who will command big contracts if signed. The Ravens are making every effort to bring back Reed and are in the process of wooing pass-rush specialist Elvis Dumervil away from the Denver Broncos. If both sign, Newsome and Co. might not have the money to sign Huff too.
The Ravens have suffered a mass exodus this offseason that leaves many wondering how exactly they plan on defending their title in 2013. Adding a quality player like Huff could, however, alleviate some of that stress. We’ll just have to wait and see if the pieces fall into place.