Letting go of Heyward-Bey and his $10.6 million 2013 cap hit was a wise move by Reggie McKenzie in terms of the salary cap, but maybe not so much on the field.
With the Raiders returning to the power-blocking and deep ball offensive philosophy of new coordinator Greg Olson, DHB could have returned to the level he was playing at when the Raiders last ran that offensive system in 2010-11 under Hue Jackson.
Heyward-Bey ripped off the bust label in those two seasons despite never reaching the 1,000-yard milestone in a single season. His ability to stretch the field is an asset in the offensive scheme that the Raiders used in 2010-11 and will be using in 2013.
Regardless of the scheme, DHB never seemed to develop as a receiver that you would expect to get with the seventh overall pick in the NFL draft. He used his body to catch the ball rather than rely on his hands to make the catch. He also dropped too many passes to have that $10.6 million cap number.
Without DHB, the Raiders' best remaining receivers are Jacoby Ford, Denarius Moore and Rod Streater. None of those players is worthy of the top of the depth chart based on how they played in 2012.
Streater has shown potential, but he is not ready to be a No. 1 receiver in the NFL. Ford is best as a slot receiver and special teams return man. Moore has been inconsistent in his first two NFL seasons and was benched at one point in 2012.
The Raiders need to take advantage of a deep free-agent class to fill this need, or it will be another long year for the Raiders quarterbacks with Brandon Myers now an unrestricted free agent.