The Oakland Raiders have made a number of changes this offseason, signing a number of new players while cutting some veteran ones, including wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, a former first round pick that has visited both the Indianapolis Colts and the Detroit Lions as a free agent and could sign with one of the teams.
According to NFL.com, Heyward-Bey met with the Colts on Monday and he is planning to visit with the Detroit Lions on Wednesday. The news was reported by Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press and comes after the receiver was released by the Raiders in a salary cap move earlier in the offseason.
The Lions could use more depth at the position after keeping Nate Burleson and dealing with the Titus Young situation. The teams signed Reggie Bush as a free agent and also has Ryan Broyles coming off of an injury, making the wide receiver position a priority.
Heyward-Bey has size and speed, but his career was up and down since being a seventh overall draft pick by the Raiders in the 2009 draft and he never had any consistency on offense. He made over 60 catches in 2011 and was third on the team last year with 41 catches for 606 yards and five touchdowns.
The Lions ranked second in passing yards last season with over 300 per game, but that was mostly to Calvin Johnson and partially due to the fact that the team played from behind for much of the season. Heyward-Bey met with the Colts on Monday, who would like to add another receiver after deciding not to bring back Austin Collie.
The Colts already have Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton, but would like to add another element to the offense for Andrew Luck. Heyward-Bey could be a target in the end zone for him while taking attention off the speedy Hilton and giving Wayne more space to get open. The 26-year-old has had an inconsistent career, but could become a solid possession and big-play receiver elsewhere.
The Colts have been tweeting about signing a receiver and many thought it was Victor Cruz, but owner Jim Irsay denied that last week. The player could possibly be Heyward-Bey and if he doesn't sign with either team, options could turn to Brandon Lloyd, who was released by the Patriots.
Lloyd could be a solid option for the Raiders, as they lost Heyward-Bey and also have youth at the position. The market has cooled off and they could get Lloyd at a cheaper price than he was signed for in New England last season.