Darrius Heyward-Bey needs to restructured, released
Releasing Heyward-Bey will save the Raiders $5,341,000 in cap space for 2013. However I don’t believe he should be released, but he does need to have his contract restructured or extended.
And this is where the talk about what Heyward-Bey’s contract should be, comes into focus, because his contract obviously exceeds his value. So let’s take a look at what price range Reggie McKenzie should offer Heyward-Bey for an extension to see if some middle ground can be met.
The first chart below shows Heyward-Bey’s three-year average reception per game, compared to wide receivers’ in his price range currently. While the second chart shows Heyward-Bey’s three-year average touchdowns per game compared to his peers’ price range.
What should jump out at you is that Heyward-Bey is at the bottom of the list in both categories. While these receivers may be more established than Heyward-Bey, that doesn’t excuse his lack of production for how much he’s getting paid.
The last chart shows Heyward-Bey’s three-year average yardage per game among his price range.
Heyward-Bey is again at the bottom of the group. Taking in all of this information, and averaging his price range; I believe Heyward-Bey should take a 31% pay cut.
That would be about a 2.5 million dollar a year reduction in pay. It doesn’t mean he will take it, but his production has to get better. A 5 million dollar a year contract is what his market value is, based on his production.
Heyward-Bey is overpaid, unreliable, but extremely talented. His career can be salvaged, but if he wants to continue to make the type of money he’s making now, then he has to step his game up in 2013.
There is no way barring a miracle in Oakland that will cause Heyward-Bey to produce at the level his contract is at. His agent won’t like it, but this must be fixed soon.