By George Bremer
The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. —
The Indianapolis Colts’ long search to add a wide receiver this offseason ended Monday when the team agreed to terms with former Oakland Raider Darrius Heyward-Bey.
The 26-year-old was the seventh overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft out of Maryland, but he never lived up to his lofty potential with the Raiders. Heyward-Bey stands 6-foot-2 and ran a 4.3-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, but he played for three different head coaches in Oakland and with a host of starting quarterbacks including Bruce Gradkowski, Jason Campbell and Carson Palmer.
His best season came in 2011 when he caught 64 passes for 975 yards and four touchdowns. He has 140 receptions for 2,071 yards and 11 touchdowns in four seasons overall.
Heyward-Bey’s 14.8 yards per reception average ranks 23rd among active players.
“He’s big, strong and shows toughness in traffic and after the catch,” Colts general manager Ryan Grigson said in a team release. “He’s got elite finishing speed that’s as good as there is in the NFL. With this staff, this team and overall culture we’re building here in Indy, we felt strongly that he was the right player and person at the wide receiver position for us moving forward.”
Heyward-Bey visited both the Colts and Detroit Lions last week before flying home to make a decision.
Terms of the contract were not officially released, but reports peg the deal at one year and up to $3 million with $1.5 million guaranteed.
The Colts had been looking to add a wide receiver since losing Donnie Avery to the Kansas City Chiefs during the first week of free agency last month.