The Baltimore Raven shook up their roster today by releasing veterans safety Michael Huff and defensive tackle Marcus Spears. Both players underperformed while in Baltimore and now find themselves unemployed. Dallas has shown interest in both players in the past and they currently have needs at both positions. But should Dallas pull the trigger by signing either of them?
As both players were just released today, NFL teams will have a chance to claim them off waivers in the next 24 hours. If they are claimed, their existing contracts go with them. Huff signed a signed a three-year, $6 million contract back in March. Spears signed a two-year, $2.75 million contract at that same time. If either/both of them clear waivers, they would then become free agents.
Dallas fans will remember Huff as someone the Cowboys were very interested in signing this offseason. But Dallas’ salary cap restrictions appeared to scare the native of Irving away, and he quickly signed with the Ravens. Expected to become Ed Reed’s replacement, the former Longhorn hasn’t played on the Raven’s defense since Week Four. He was replaced on the starting lineup by rookie safety Matt Elam very early into the season. Huff who was regulated to special teams, became a liability when a recent blunder by him allowed a 44-yard kick return that lead to a game-winning field goal by the Pittsburgh Steelers. The 30-year old veteran has recorded just six total tackles so far this season.
Similarly, Spears fell out of favor in Baltimore after third round draft pick Brandon Williams began outperforming him. The 30-year old veteran missed two games with a knee injury, but was wasn’t playing all that well even before that. Spears spent the last eight seasons with Dallas before signing with Baltimore earlier this year. He recorded just 10 total tackles as a member of the defending Super Bowl champion Ravens before today’s release.
Both players are former first round picks who should draw interest from numerous teams. But chances are none of them will want to pay out their existing contracts.
The Cowboys have needs at both defensive line and safety. I’m not sure Spears would fit our new 4-3 scheme, but he’s probably a better option then some of the guys we’ve been signing off-the-streets. And with rookie safety J.J. Wilcox on the mend, Huff would add much needed depth and a veteran presence to our defensive backfield. But only at the right price.