Ex-Raiders receiver Heyward-Bey to visit Lions

Receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey has a planned visit to the Detroit Lions following a stop in Indianapolis.

The Detroit Lions confirmed that free-agent receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey is expected to make a visit this week, possibly as early as Wednesday.

The Lions are in search of a receiver to replace Titus Young, released last month following a series of discipline issues.

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 lived up to expectations. He was drafted much higher than expected and considered a real reach by the Raiders' late owner Al Davis.

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 lack of a quality quarterback in recent years.

He might thrive in an offense with Johnson, quarterback Matthew Stafford and running back Reggie Bush.

The Indianapolis Colts confirmed that Heyward-Bey, 26, was visiting Indianapolis Monday night and Tuesday.

The Colts need a receiver to fill the void left when Donnie Avery signed a free-agent contract with Kansas City.

The Lions could have another potential stumbling block in that they presumably don't have much money available under the salary cap right now.

Durant to Cowboys

Former Lions linebacker Justin Durant joked last week about not having signed a free-agent deal at the time.

His Twitter account had "Hire Justin Durant" posted on it. He even started to fill out an application form for Chick-fil-A.

It was all in fun and Durant got the last laugh. He agreed to a two-year deal Tuesday with the Dallas Cowboys. The contract can't be signed until the Cowboys free up some salary-cap room.

"Shout out to Detroit man," Durant tweeted. "I wanna thank ya'll for the luv and support ya'll showed me the past couple years. I really appreciate it.

"I thank the organization for allowing me the opportunity to play the last 2 years. I am forever grateful."

Durant added, "Gotta learn that South Dallas Swag now."

Durant, 27, was one of Detroit's 23 unrestricted free agents, including the two starting outside linebackers.

The Lions chose to re-sign the other one, DeAndre Levy, which immediately indicated that Durant probably wasn't coming back.

Durant came to Detroit as an unrestricted free agent two years ago. He finished second on the team with a career-high 103 tackles last season.

The Lions, however, are looking for playmakers on defense and Durant created no turnovers in 2012.

Unless Detroit drafts a linebacker next month, the likely replacement will be Ashlee Palmer, 26, entering his fourth season with the Lions. Other candidates include Tahir Whitehead, a fifth-round pick last year, and Travis Lewis, a seventh-rounder.
Durant was a popular teammate.

"This is the part of the business I hate," Lions middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch tweeted. "Tough to know my boy (Durant) won't be on the field with me next season."

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