It looks like free agent WR Darrius Heyward-Bey has finally made up his mind.
After spending part of last week in Indianapolis before leaving without a contract and heading to Detroit for a scheduled visit, the fourth-year player out of Maryland has opted to sign with the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts emailed the news of the deal to media this evening, and they have updated their website.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the deal is for one-year, $3 million.
While it seems clear that Heyward-Bey is not the "wopper" wide receiver Jim Irsay was
trolling tweeting everyone about several weeks ago, he does fill a pretty big need on the 2013 roster.
Last season's starting receiver opposite Reggie Wayne was Donnie Avery, and Avery signed a three-year, $8.5 million deal with the Chiefs this offseason. Coming into 2012, when Avery signed his one-year deal with the Colts, he was entering his fourth year, was considered a bust by the team that drafted him in the first round (Rams), and had 103 career receptions for 1,308 yards and 9 TDs. Avery was able to capitalize on a career year with the Colts in '12 with a decent contract with the Chiefs in '13.
Heyward-Bey joins the Colts entering his fifth year and has 140 career catches for 2,071 yards and 11 TDs.
Like Avery with the Rams, Heyward-Bey was viewed as a first round bust with the Oakland Raiders. Also like Avery, Heyward-Bey wants to have a career year in with Andrew Luck as his quarterback; a year he can hopefully use to negotiate a better deal next season.
Heyward-Bey bring height (6'2), size (216 lbs) and Hyperdrive-type speed to the football field. He ran a 4.30 at the 2009 NFL Scouting Combine, and the Colts will likely plan to use him as someone to take the top off a defense.
The Heyward-Bey signing is the 10th unrestricted free agent that Colts general manager Ryan Grigson has signed this offseason, not counting the re-signing of corner Darius Butler. Wide receiver was viewed as a need going into the 2013 NFL Draft, but, now with Heyward-Bey in the fold, the Colts are free to focus on the defense with the No. 24 overall pick.