Michael Crabtree Seeking $4.5 Million Contract


Talented yet inconsistent wideout Michael Crabtree is still on the market in early April, but according to reports on Sunday that doesn’t mean the former San Francisco 49ers receiver will be giving a team a bargain when he eventually signs. In fact, Crabtree is looking for solid money even if the league took a hard pass on him for nearly a full month of free agency since March 10.

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This past afternoon rumblings surfaced that Crabtree turned down the Miami Dolphins offer of $3 million per season to go look at the Oakland Raiders early next week with a reported visit with the Silver and Black in the cards for the wideout. A visit in which Crabtree will be likely looking at more money to sign in Oakland where the California state tax is higher and the chance to make a playoff run with the Raiders is lower than it would be with the Dolphins.

Vic Tafur of The San Francisco Chronicle tweeted on Sunday that Crabtree is looking for $4.5 million a season, a number the Raiders can afford and a number that will be discussed when the two sides meet early this week to potentially work out a deal to bolster the receiving talent in Oakland.

Crabtree’s value is debatable as his talent is hard to deny, but his consistency hasn’t quite been there playing on a team in the Niners that has relied heavily on the running game which has stunted the numbers of their receivers in the past. Because of that Crabtree has average numbers despite being one of the top targets on San Francisco teams that were contending for NFC titles in the past few seasons before the Jim Harbaugh mess in 2014 saw a downturn for everybody in the organization. Particularly in the passing game where Colin Kaepernick appeared to regress along with his wodeouts, something that has hurt Crabtree’s value in free agency.

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A lack of interest and a down season in 2014 won’t make Crabtree budge in terms of his expected value when he does sign with a team. $4.5 million per season looking like what it will take for a team like the Raiders to acquire his services. We will see if Reggie McKenzie pays the price, but you can’t fault Crabtree to sticking to his perceived worth. Even if it means risking remaining on the free agency market for as long as he wants to ride out that expected payday.

Expect the Raiders to come close to Crabtree’s pricetag, but the jury remains out on if he will really end up getting $4.5 million per year despite getting passed on in free agency for an entire month. A talented wideout something the Raiders need, but definitely is not something they have shown they will be willing to overpay for after passing on better talents in March before this upcoming visit with Crabtree. If it is for $4.5 million, Crabtree will be a Raider, but if it isn’t talks could stall as a wide receiver looks to maximize his earning potential even if it has meant playing some hardball.