Steelers looking at Heyward-Bey

Steelers looking at Heyward-Bey
April 2, 2014, 12:00 am
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(Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports)

The Pittsburgh Steelers need wide receivers in the worse way. Which would explain why they’re reportedly bringing in Darrius Heyward-Bey for a visit on Wednesday.

OK, that’s a bit of a cheap shot, but even if the Steelers do decide they want Heyward-Bey and he wants them and they can somehow figure out how to sign him with their salary cap almost tapped out, he wouldn’t be a big answer to their depleted receiving corps.

A shockingly high draft pick in 2009 when taken by the Oakland Raiders at No. 7 in the first round out of Maryland, Heyward-Bey has never lived up to those outsized expectations. Then again, it’s not his fault that the Raiders way overvalued his speed above any other receiving skills.

After four years in Oakland and last season with the Indianapolis Colts, Heyward-Bey has 169 career receptions. He did have one productive season for the Raiders, 2011, when he caught 64 balls for 975 yards. But with Andrew Luck as his quarterback in 2013, Heyward-Bey had 29 receptions.

So, after the Steelers lost Emmanuel Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery in free agency and have thus far added former New Orleans Saints receiver Lance Moore to help replace those last catches, Pittsburgh still has much to do, either through the draft — ESPN.com says the Steelers are likely to pick a receiver early — or free agency.

Heyward-Bey could be a little piece of a much larger puzzle.