NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers Sign WR Darrius Heyward-Bey

The Pittsburgh Steelers signed former Oakland Raiders and Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey on April 2.

Apr 2 2014, 7:33pm CDT | by

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers Sign WR Darrius Heyward-Bey
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The Pittsburgh Steelers signed former Oakland Raiders and Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey on April 2. 

According to the Steelers' official website, Heyward-Bey was signed to a one-year deal. The press release reads,"The Steelers have signed wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey to a one-year contract, the team announced today. Financial terms of the contract were not disclosed."

Heyward-Bey joins a Steelers wide receiving corps comprised of Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton and Lance Moore. Former Steelers wide receivers Emmanuel Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery joined the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers in free agency, respectively. 

The 6'2", 205-pound Heyward-Bey was drafted seventh overall in the 2009 NFL draft because then Raiders owner Al Davis was impressed with his speed. In spite of Heyward-Bey's high draft status, he's never lived up to his billing, per The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Alan Robinson. 

The Raiders released him last year and was signed by Colts to a one-year deal. He played in all 16 games for Indianapolis, catching 29 passes for 309 yards. 

In spite of his speed, Heyward-Bey's hands were an issue while with the Colts as he had nine dropped passes, says Ed Bouchette of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, citing Pro Football Focus.  

Robinson stresses "Heyward-Bey is expected to be used on extra-receiver downs and will supply an element of speed the Steelers' offense lacked last season, after (Mike) Wallace signed with the (Miami) Dolphins." 

With this ESPN's Scott Brown chimes in on the Steelers' acquisition of Heyward-Bey: 

"Maybe his blend of size and speed will prove to be more than the fool's gold the Raiders concluded it was when they cut the seventh overall pick of the 2009 draft after just four seasons. 

"But five years into a career in which he has only once come close to a 1,000-yard season, it is not realistic to think that Heyward-Bey will suddenly put everything together for the Steelers, who are now his third team by the age of 27. 

"And that's fine considering the Steelers likely signed the 6-foot-2, 219-pounder to a veteran's minimum contract or at least a one-year deal laden with incentives.

"With almost no room under the salary cap the Steelers were looking for depth at wide receiver, not a starter." 

He has registered 169 catches for 2,380 yards and 12 touchdowns in his five-year NFL career, Robinson adds. 

 

 
 
 


Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.

 

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