Just as Michael Crabtree is breaking out, the wide receiver who was stupidly drafted in front of him in 2009 is moving on. The Raiders cut Darrius Heyward-Bey on Tuesday, a move that will save the franchise $5.43 million. Heyward-Bey had his best season to date in 2011, catching 64 passes for 975 yards. But he never became the game-changing wide receiver the Raiders envisioned him being when they took him with the seventh overall pick. Crabtree, who was widely considered to be the best wideout in that year's draft, was chosen by the 49ers three picks later.
DHB was drafted because the Raiders (Al Davis, more so) are seriously addicted to people that can run fast. Heyward-Bey still has that ability, but he's a one-trick pony. He caught just 41 passes in 15 games last year. He'll find a job elsewhere and will probably be worth nothing more than a lottery ticket at the end of a fantasy draft. The Raiders, meanwhile, will move forward with Denarius Moore, Rod Streater and Juron Criner as their top three WRs. That group would look a lot better if Jacoby Ford could get and stay healthy.