Raiders Sign WR Michael Crabtree
The Oakland Raiders didn’t have enough weapons a year ago to fully gauge what they have in quarterback Derek Carr. Thanks to the signing of former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree on Monday night, they may have just rectified that.
Crabtree and the Raiders agreed on a one-year, $3 million deal that could award the veteran wideout with an extra #2 in incentives. Crabtree was rumored to be interested in moving on from the 49ers after a rocky couple of seasons, but experienced a cold market through the first few waves of free agency.
Crabtree’s stock started to heat up over the past week, however, as the Niners, Dolphins and Raiders were rumored to be competing for his services. Oakland ended up giving him the best combination of financial security and role in 2015, however, and Crabtree will switch sides in the Bay Area.
It remains to be determined if this is a good signing for Oakland, but it’s a relatively safe one for a 27-year old receiver that is just two seasons removed from a career year. Crabtree’s play has slipped noticeably over the past two years due to nagging injuries, the most notable one being a devastating Achilles tear that ruined hi 2013 campaign.
Crabtree’s numbers were also negatively impacted by San Francisco’s run-heavy offense, as well as poor play under center from quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Crabtree arguably sees a massive downgrade in supporting talent in Oakland, but he shouldn’t want for targets as Oakland’s projected new #1 target in the passing game.
Never an explosive burner or deep threat, Crabtree will have to prove he can once again be an effective, consistent chain mover for the Raiders. He was that and more during his best pro season in 2012, when he hauled in 85 receptions for 1,105 yards and nine touchdowns.
If Crabtree can somehow regain that form, it wouldn’t be crazy to think he can help Carr progress rapidly. And if that happens, the Raiders could start thinking seriously about a leap out of the bottom of the AFC West.
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