After losing Jerricho Cotchery to the Carolina Panthers earlier this offseason, the Pittsburgh Steelers signed former New Orleans Saints WR3 Lance Moore to replace him as the team’s veteran wideout behind superstar Antonio Brown and second-year breakout candidate Markus Wheaton. The Steelers also let Emmanuel Sanders (now with the Denver Broncos) go this offseason, so it was crucial for them to add some more depth at the position.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Ed Bouchette reports that the Steelers have signed Darrius Heyward-Bey to an undisclosed deal, and it will be interesting to see if the former first-round bust gets more than a one-year deal at the veteran minimum. The 27-year-old appeared in all 16 games for the Indianapolis Colts last season, but he was so ineffective that Chuck Pagano basically made up an injury in order to save DHB from the embarrassment from being benched.
This marks the second day in a row in which the Steelers have signed an underwhelming but somewhat-talented veteran in order to add depth at a key position, as they signed former Houston Texans nickel corner Brice McCain yesterday. Heyward-Bey’s signing isn’t a surprise due to the Steelers desire to add depth at WR and the fact that he was visiting the team today before signing.
Heyward-Bey had 64 receptions for 975 yards in a surprising 2011 season, but he has caught over 40 passes in a year just one other time in his career. Due to his awful route-running and even worse hands, Heyward-Bey has never banked on his potential and excellent size/speed combo. Here’s to hoping that he can have a noticeably positive effect on the Steelers offense, but his roster spot definitely isn’t a guarantee.
Update: The Steelers have announced that it is indeed a one-year deal.