Raiders release Heyward-Bey, Huff, Tollefson

3/13/13 in NFL   |   BrianMaddock   |   1429 respect

The Oakland Raiders are trying to maintain the balance on the roster towards the high signing period of free agency by releasing first-rounders Darrius Heyward-Bey and Michael Huff, as well as cutting ties with defensive end David Tollefson later today, the team announced on Tuesday. These high profile releases were part of the Oakland Raiders’ rebuilding efforts of general manager Reggie McKenzie following the decisions made by late owner Al Davis.
"The Raiders would like to thank Michael Huff and Darrius Heyward-Bey for their contributions to our organization, both on the field and especially in our community, over the last several years,” the Oakland Raiders released in a statement. “We sincerely wish them well in their future endeavors."
While both wide receivers Darrius Heyward-Bey and defensive back Michael Huff boasted a great feature in their blazing speed, Heyward-Bey failed to emerge as a legitimate deep threat over the years, whereas Huff was unwilling to take a pay cut.
Darrius Heyward-Bey selected seventh overall by the Oakland Raiders in the 2009 draft amassed 140 receptions for 2.071 yards and 11 touchdowns over the past four years. The 26-year-old Darrius Heyward had a career-best season in 2011, posting 64 receptions for 975 yards, including four touchdowns. Last season, Darrius Heyward appeared in 15 games (with 14 starts), while recording 41 passes for 606 yards and a career-high five touchdowns. Darrius Heyward was scheduled to make $7.721 million next season, in the last year of his contract with the Oakland Raiders.
Michael Huff was also selected seventh overall by the Oakland Raiders in the 2006 draft. In the past seven seasons with the Oakland Raiders, Michael Huff totaled 438 tackles, 5.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, 55 passes defended and 11 interceptions.
However, the 30-year-old Michael Huff transitioned into a cornerback position form safety last season, owing to limitations due to injuries. Michael Huff started all 16 games last season – two at safety and 14 at cornerback.
Michael Huff was set to make $9 million in the 2013 season.
David Tollefson is the only released player today who didn’t spend his entire career with the Oakland Raiders. Selected in the seventh round of the 2006 draft, David Tollefson spent his first five season (2007-2011) with the New York Giants before signing with the Oakland Raiders last year. However, David Tollefson was briefly a member of the Oakland Raiders’ practice squad in 2007. David Tollefson appeared in 15 games last season while registering 8 tackles and 0.5 sacks in 2012. In his seven-year NFL career, David Tollefson totaled 89 tackles and 10.5 sacks over 78 games, with only 2 starts.
The move, especially the release of Darrius Heyward-Bey and Michael Huff frees up a significant cap-room for the Oakland Raiders so that they can re-sign their own players, while adding new free agents to the roster for the 2013 season. 
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