Should the Raiders Restructure the Contract of Darrius Heyward-Bey?

One of the ongoing plots of the 2012 NFL offseason has been the Oakland Raiders' quest to navigate themselves under the salary cap after years of handing out inflated contracts that left the team in a fiscal bind.

New GM Reggie McKenzie has worked diligently to restructure the contracts of veterans such as Carson Palmer, Richard Seymour and Michael Huff in order to afford his team flexibility and the opportunity to add other new players.

He's also had to part ways with respected presences such as Kevin Boss, Chris Johnson and Stanford Routt, whose salaries dictated that they would no longer be a part of the team's future.

Suffice to say, it's been an offseason for McKenzie that he won't soon forget, but also one that still needs plenty of tending to.

At last check, the Raiders were less than $30,000 under the salary cap ceiling, meaning McKenzie is likely focused on continued efforts to trim salary where possible.

One player that could be under consideration for a modification to his contract is wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, the Raiders' first-round draft pick in 2009 and a guy who had his best season as a pro last year.

Here's the skinny on his rookie deal (which he is still playing under): He has two years remaining on the contract, with a total of $13 million yet to be paid out. His scheduled salary for 2012 is $5.279 million, and the figures jump up to $7.721 million the following season.

Based off of production, another season like 2011 (despite it being his best pro campaign) for Heyward-Bey would not merit the salary. (Sorry, Raiders fan, you can't a pay guy over $5 million if he doesn't eclipse 1,000 yards receiving). Based off of his potential (a word that has been thrown around regarding "DHB" since he was drafted), the story may be different. He's flashed rare speed and is the Raiders' top receiving target already. The root of rookie contracts is, of course, paying a guy for...

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