Raiders' Heyward-Bey Joins Team In Napa

Lou GalowniaContributor IJuly 31, 2009

ALAMEDA, CA - MAY 08:  Darrius Heyward-Bey #12 of the Oakland Raiders runs drills during the Raiders minicamp at the team's permanent training facility on May 8, 2009 in Alameda, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Oakland Raiders' #1 draft pick (7th overall) Darrius Heyward-Bey arrived to training camp this afternoon after reportedly agreeing to a 5-year contract worth a reported $38.25 million in base pay (23.5 million guaranteed). This ends speculation of a protracted holdout last seen in Oakland when top pick QB Jamarcus Russell missed the beginning of the 2007 season before coming to terms with the team. 

Arriving to the Napa training facility minutes after the beginning of today's afternoon session, the rookie WR took the field to participate in the team's learning-intensive practice. The debut was not without its hitches, however. On one attempt, the young receiver sped down the left side of the formation on a deep fly route, only to miss a wobbly 35-yard pass from QB prospect Charlie Frye, watching the ball fall from between his hands. It was also noted later that the Heyward-Bey was seen taking direction from passing game coordinator Ted Tollnor regarding the pass routes in play. 

Overall the team was pleased to see him in camp relatively on-time, and ready to participate fully, with none of the hamstring issues that hampered his performance through the team OTAs. After practice DHB said that he didn't need to wait around to watch the dollar amounts signed to the other top draft picks, and was only concerned with getting his deal completed. “I’ve always been concerned with myself and only me from Day One,’’ Heyward-Bey said. “ I really can’t worry about what everybody else is doing. We were focusing on being a Raider and that’s it.’’

With the signing of DHB, the Oakland Raiders became the sixth team in the NFL to have all of their draft picks signed and in camp.

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The author would like to thank Jerry McDonald at and David White at for facts supporting this piece.