The Rise of a Condor: Maxx Crosby is Now the Face of the Raiders

Maxx Crosby during New England Patriots v Las Vegas Raiders in 2022
Maxx Crosby during New England Patriots v Las Vegas Raiders in 2022 / Ethan Miller/GettyImages
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Maxx Crosby
San Francisco 49ers v Las Vegas Raiders / Chris Unger/GettyImages

The Best Decision of His Life

While everything seemed to be going perfectly for Crosby, it wasn’t. A month after his runner-up finish for the rookie accolade, he made the best decision of his young NFL career, and perhaps of his life.

On March 11, 2020, a few days before the entire world shutdown, Crosby checked into a month-long rehab for alcoholism.

"It got to a point after my rookie year my life became unmanageable," Crosby told ESPN staff writer Paul Gutierrez in 2021. "Alcohol, partying and all that shit became too much of a distraction in my life. It became just overwhelming. I've always had issues with drinking and partying throughout high school and college. I've been able to slip by and get by, but it became too much for me…”

"Alcoholism runs in my family and I'm an alcoholic. So, for me, I knew it was something that was always a crutch.”

He also explained that his first year of sobriety was the hardest. “I had a lot of ups and downs. Mentally it was really tough for me.” He played the entire 2020 season dealing with that life-saving battle. It’s incredible and admirable. It might be a coincidence, but it is worth noting that his first year of sobriety is his current career-low in sacks, tackles and QB hits. That doesn’t matter though. He still had a productive 2020 season with the newly relocated Las Vegas Raiders, while he was more importantly saving his life. Doing both, fighting sobriety and fighting NFL lineman simultaneously, is remarkable.

Also in that first year of sobriety, his commitment to football over all other distractions was best exemplified when he got the Raiders logo tattooed on his arm. Keeping the shield close to him, as a reminder of what's at stake.

Which brings us back to that cold season-on-the-line game in Cleveland the following year, when Crosby learned he was awarded a spot at the Pro Bowl. The relentless effort throughout his journey, for the betterment of his life and his football career, led him to that moment. His emotions in that press conference were relief that everything he was doing was for a reason. This honor was rightfully earned too – that season he led the entire NFL with 82 QB pressures and 53 QB hurries, according to NFL’s Next Gen Stats.