Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 3/26/13
Does free-agent receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey leave Indianapolis Tuesday with or without signing a contract? That's the key question for the Detroit Lions, who reportedly would be the next team to get a visit from the seventh pick overall in the 2009 NFL Draft. The Lions are in search of a receiver to replace Titus Young, released last month following a series of discipline issues. Two other receivers, Nate Burleson (broken leg) and Ryan Broyles (knee surgery), are coming off season-ending injuries. Heyward-Bey's speed and deep-threat ability could be a nice complement on the opposite side of the field from Calvin Johnson. The knock against Heyward-Bey, who was released by Oakland earlier this month, is that he's a poor route runner who didn't live up to expectations. Those expectations, however, might have been a little unrealistic considering it was a reach by Al Davis, the Raiders' late owner, to take Heyward-Bey much earlier than projections. Heyward Bey's best season came in 2011 when he made 64 receptions for 975 yards. He took a step back last year with 41 catches for 606 yards although he did score a career-high five touchdowns. His overall production certainly was affected by the Raiders' poor offense and ineffective quarterbacks in recent years. He might thrive in an offense with Johnson, quarterback Matthew Stafford and running back Reggie Bush around him. The Colts are also an attractive choice for a receiver because of quarterback Andrew Luck, the No. 1 pick overall in last year's draft. The club confirmed that Heyward-Bey, 26, was visiting Indianapolis Monday night and Tuesday. A player's first visit is generally considered his preferred destination, assuming he gets the right offer financially. The Lions, for instance, brought in three players -- Bush, safety Glover Quin and defensive lineman Jason Jones -- on the first day of free agency and neither player took another visit. Detroit nailed down all three within hours. The Colts need a receiver to fill a void left when Donnie Avery signed a free-agent contract with Kansas City. If Heyward-Bey gets out of Indianapolis without a deal, there's still another potential stumbling block for the Lions, who presumably don't have much money available under the salary cap right now.
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