By Steve Corkran
Tuesday, March 12th, 2013 at 5:04 pm in Oakland Raiders.
The Raiders massive overhaul reached a fevered pitch Tuesday with the release of the following veterans: wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, free safety Michael Huff and defensive lineman Dave Tollefson.
By releasing Huff, the Raiders increased their salary cap room for 2013. It’s going to take some time to sort through the numbers. They started the day $8.5 million under the cap.
Huff was slated to earn $11.288 million in 2013, with $4 million in base salary, a $4 million roster bonus and the rest as the prorated portion of his signing bonus.
The Raiders re-signed Huff in 2011 to a contract that guaranteed him $16 million. He turned in one of his best seasons last year, much of his handiwork coming after he converted to cornerback after injuries to starters Ron Bartell and Shawntae Spencer.
The Raiders said Huff was moving back to free safety in 2013. Now he’s just moving on, though the Raiders still could attempt to re-sign him again.
Heyward-Bey had a cap figure of $10.6 million for 2013, with $7.721 million of that in base salary. There was no way the Raiders were going to pay that kind of money for a player who hasn’t materialized into the kind of player they envisioned when they selected him No. 7 in the 2009 NFL draft.
The Raiders signed Tollefson last season and handed him a two-year, $3 million contract. Tollefson failed to get much of an opportunity in first-year defensive coordinator Jason Tarver’s scheme, so his dismissal doesn’t come as much of a surprise.
The Raiders also confirmed that they re-signed cornerback Phillip Adams to a one-year contract. He was Oakland’s lone restricted free agent. He received a contract worth $630.000.
Surprisingly, the Raiders didn’t release middle linebacker Rolando McClain or defensive tackle Tommy Kelly on Tuesday, even though they aren’t in a position where they need to made a move.
Even so, it’s likely that McClain will be jettisoned any day. Kelly might be kept around as long as the Raiders are so thin at defensive tackle — Richard Seymour and Desmond Bryant are testing the free-agent market.