A pair of premium first-round draft picks were casualties Tuesday as the Raiders attempted to put their financial house in order on the first day of the new league year.

Free safety Michael Huff, wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey and defensive end David Tollefson were released on the day that 17 players became unrestricted free agents.

The big surprise was Huff, who started at cornerback in 14 games last season and was ticketed for a return to free safety. Huff was due $4 million in salary, had a $4 million roster bonus due and had a salary cap figure of $11.2 million.

Huff appeared to be in the plans of coach Dennis Allen and general manager Reggie McKenzie and was ticketed for a return to free safety.

Heyward-Bey had a scheduled salary of $7.7 million and a salary cap number of $10.6 million.

Both players were the No. 7 pick in the NFL draft, Huff in 2006 and Heyward-Bey in 2009.

Tollefson, signed as a free agent last season, received minimal work although he was healthy late in the season. He was to make $900,000 in 2013.

Remaining on the roster at present is middle linebacker Rolando McClain, who was retained on the roster last season because releasing him would have resulted in a signing bonus acceleration that would have meant possibly having to release additional players.

The No. 8 overall pick in 2010, McClain, was demoted from the nickel defense in Week 4 last season, lost his starting job at middle linebacker to Omar Gaither an eventually suspended for conduct detrimental to the team after an argument with Allen.


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The Raiders were unable to sign any of their free agents before they hit the market. Most notably, that includes linebacker Philip Wheeler, defensive tackle Desmond Bryant and tight end Brandon Myers, all of whom enjoyed productive seasons on a 4-12 team in 2012.

Others free to sign with the highest bidder include starting right tackle Khalif Barnes and left guard Cooper Carlisle, defensive end Andre Carter, linebacker Omar Gaither, safety Matt Giordano, running back Mike Goodson, wide receiver Derek hagan, cornerback Joselio Hanson, punter Shane Lechler, quarterback Matt Leinart, safety Mike Mitchell, defensive tackle Richard Seymour, defensive end Matt Shaughnessy and cornerback Shawntae Spencer.

Some could still return after they test the market and compare it with what they could get in Oakland .

Cornerback Phillip Adams, a restricted free agent, was signed to a one-year contract for $650,000.

For more on the Raiders, visit the Inside the Oakland Raiders blog at ibabuzz.com/oaklandraiders. Follow Jerry McDonald on twitter at Twitter.com/Jerrymcd.