Raiders.com has listed safety Hiram Eugene as the 12th Oakland Raider to re-sign this off-season.
Eugene entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent from Louisiana Tech, worked his way from the practice squad to the active roster and has started 15 games for the Raiders over the past two seasons.
Hiram became the starting free safety for Oakland after Rob Ryan’s failed experiment with Michael Huff. Huff was moved from his position of strong safety to make way for the arrival of free agent Gibril Wilson.
Wilson has since been released and signed by the Miami Dolphins, leaving the Raiders thin at safety.
Eugene, Huff and Tyvon Branch are the lone safeties currently on the Raider roster. Wake Forest safety Chip Vaughn has become a prospect of interest for the Raiders after a recent visit to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to see the former Demon Deacon workout. There are reports that Vaughn has a scheduled visit in Oakland today.
Vaughn, who is projected as a third round selection, ran an impressive 4.42 40-yard dash, did 21 reps of 225 lbs and posted a 37″ vertical jump at the draft combine in Indianapolis. With nothing of quality to be found in free agency, Tom Cable and John Marshall are turning their focus to the draft for help in solving the Raider woes at safety.
As of now, Eugene would appear to be one of the starting safeties on opening day. The Louisiana native has yet to record an interception in his professional career, putting him just one behind Michael Huff.
At risk of sounding like a broken record, I’ll state once again that cornerback Chris Johnson was the first Raider to re-sign this off-season, but his deal still has yet to be announced on Raiders.com. Officially, Eugene is the 12th Oakland Raider to re-sign, unofficially he is the 13th.