Michael Huff was in Baltimore Thursday, becoming more acclimated with the place he’ll call home during football season.
Huff underwent a physical by Ravens team doctors, was later cleared and signed his three-year, $6 million contract to be the newest free safety for the franchise – a position that has caused many turnovers but hasn’t had any itself over the past 11 years. To expect Huff to fill the shoes of the recently departed Ed Reed isn’t fair, but that won’t stop Huff from trying his hardest.
“For me to come in here, I don’t really feel like I’m following in his footsteps,” Huff said. “I’m more kind of starting my own legacy and kind of going in here to help the defense. Like I said, I’m going to go out there and play free safety, play strong safety, play corner if they need me to, play nickel if they need me to. I’m going to go out there and do whatever I can to help the defense and help us win.”
The addition of Huff will fill a major void in the Ravens secondary. Cornerback Lardarius Webb is the only returning starter to a group that saw Cary Williams, Ed Reed and Bernard Pollard move on to other teams (either voluntarily or involuntarily. For Huff, he says winning is the most important thing on his agenda.
“At this point of my career, it’s not chasing money,” he said. ” It’s chasing that Super Bowl ring. I don’t think of any other place than to come here. Baltimore is that place. You want to come here and win a super bowl, then [this is] where you want to be.”
Huff becomes the latest example of how the Ravens winning ways have made recruiting highly sought after free-agents easier. The signing of pass rushing specialist Elvis Dumervil was the first in a domino effect of pieces falling into place after the team saw many of their free-agents depart for greener pastures.
“I wanted to be here, especially once they got [Elvis] Dumervil,” said Huff. “I said, ‘ Look at that pass rushing with him, [Terrell] Suggs, [Haloti] Ngata, [Chris] Canty, all of them in there.’ So, as soon as they got him, I was like ‘oh yeah, that makes my job a lot easier.’ This is where I wanted to be.”
Huff has played in all 16 games in six of his seven NFL seasons (he missed four in 2011). He has 11 career interceptions (one courtesy of Joe Flacco) but has never made the playoffs – a byproduct of being a Raider.
Hopefully his desire to win will translate into Huff being the latest in a long line of bargain free-agent steals for the Ravens.