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Spring Fever

April 28, 2001 by Steel Phantom

Reportedly, both Richard Huntley and Scott Shields have been told that their services are no longer required here

Reportedly, both Richard Huntley and Scott Shields have been told that their services are no longer required here.That could not have surprised Shields.Some say his days were numbered when Mike Logan signed on; I�d say his Stiller career came to a close late last season when Nakia Codie surpassed him on the depth chart.Logan, Flowers, Alexander and Battles figure at safety next year; Codie or Bell has a shot if the Stillers keep (10) DB.Shields constant refusal to tackle does suggest that this man is better suited for life as a decathlete than as an NFL defensive back.


Huntley is a different matter.While he did have fumble issues in �98 and was injured for much of �00, he has established as a quality 3rd down back and IMO he is the only proven breakaway threat on the current Stiller roster.He is an ST coverage ace; in fact, the backup RB were, with Fiala, the biggest hitters on the coverage units in 2000.That is an indictment of the Stiller D-side backups but, since the Stillers added no useful D-side speed (other than Kendrell Bell) last weekend, the O-side will be called on to cover again this season.


It could be said that $1.6M is a lot of cash for a backup/ST player.Maybe so but, on a unit basis, the Stillers can afford it.Let�s do the numbers; note that the 2000 figures have long been available on this site, the 2001 figures are rounded up to cushion my considerable uncertainty factor.



2000 cap hit ($M)

2001 cap hit ($M)



1.5 (approx.)



1.6 (reportedly)



0.9 (approx.)









0.50 (approx.)



4.5 + (#20 and #35)


I don�t have the 2001 numbers for Amoz or Kreider but I am willing to bet they won�t come to $2.28 M.Note that the Bus, Hunt and Fu together hit the 2001 cap for less than did Bettis in 2000.In sum, the Stillers have engineered a situation where they could maintain the best unit on the roster for less cash now than the year previous.Why screw up a good thing?If Huntley gets cut now, it will not be for any football reason.If Huntley gets cut now, I can�t see the cap sense.


If Huntley gets cut now, the Stillers will have squandered their last best hope to trade out of their considerable depth at RB.Reportedly, the FO has tried to accomplish this but failed to attract any offers.No surprise, considering that this cut has been rumored constantly throughout the off-season.That fact, along with the Witman signing, surely has driven down the market.Now, since the bottom-feeders have first dibs on the waiver wire, we may see Huntley, at least twice a year, wearing orange and brown.


The market for Hunt, or Amoz, will rise when RB elsewhere start going down in camp, or in the exhibition season.That is the time to make a move; this is not.Hunt has attracted interest previously and, probably, will do so again.This can�t be said for Jason Simmons, the diminutive �special teams ace� who signed his $512K RFA tender this week.It baffles me that Simmons got any offer; I can�t guess why that remained on the table after the Logan signing. Simmons is, at best, a dime back and now projects as a backup in that (backup) role.He does remain the #4 CB (until Poteat beats him out) but, if this man ever plays CB in the base set, we�ll all be lifting our glasses to the memory of Alvoid Mayes and Harvey Clayton.


Huntley is a quality backup who has played well in every role; the best that can be said of Simmons is that he managed to replace Lance Brown as a flyer on the punt teams.The Stillers run the ball; if Hunt gets cut, they will enter �01 with a high mileage Bus and two backup RB who have not gotten 30 touches in a season.Maybe Fu holds up, maybe Amoz is the real deal, but this seems to be a large and unnecessary gamble.The FO should keep Hunt unless a deal comes along; the FO should let Simmons go now, anoint Alex as the 5th CB and Codie the 9th DB.


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