Just a quick post here to follow up on something I mentioned on Twitter the other day. I think the Colts got a steal in DHB because they got an athletic receiver, still in his physical prime, who has shown some promise, for about half of what the Patriots are paying Danny Amendola. I don’t think Amendola is twice the receiver that DHB is. He may outperform DHB this year, but I think that will say more about the value of Tom Brady and the NE passing game than it will about Amendola.
Even while enjoying the reputation as one of the biggest draft busts in recent memory, DHB has a higher red zone touchdown rate than Amendola does (19% compared to 15% for their careers respectively). It’s common to lay Amendola’s lack of production at the feet of the QBs he’s played with, but DHB hasn’t really been playing with Dan Marino either.
But even if I would rather have DHB if you offered me either he or Amendola for the same price, it doesn’t matter because the Colts are getting a 50% discount. They only have upside in that deal.
The most common criticism of DHB is that he has bad hands, but during the 2011 season he averaged over 8 yards per target. So bad hands or no hands, he yielded yards for the offense when the ball went his way.
DHB has also been above average in Fantasy Points Over Par over the last two years.
Darrius Heyward-Bey Career Progression
I would also argue that DHB is somewhat similar to Pierre Garcon who had a bumpy career while Peyton Manning was throwing him the ball. Here is Garcon’s career progression:
Pierre Garcon Career Progression
Note that Garcon’s catch rate was bumping along in the same range that DHB’s has been the past two years, and for a few of those years he was getting the ball from Peyton Manning. Washington is on the hook for $20 million guaranteed for Garcon.
So again, I think Indy got a steal with DHB and it’s almost impossible for them to not get at least what they’re paying him out of the deal, while the upside is a lot higher.