WR Michael Crabtree has been a nice addition to the Oakland Raiders since they got him in 2015. He caught 85 passes for 922 yards and nine TDs in 2015 and 89 for 1,003 yards and eight TDs last year. But one has to wonder these days if the Raiders have much of a long term plan for him.
Amari Cooper, the team’s No.1 draft pick in 2015, is the WR1 and will start to see more targets. Minnesota Vikings 2013 1st-round pick Cordarrelle Patterson is in Oakland to reclaim his career. And the Raiders are sure to take advantage of the matchup nightmare TE Jared Cook presents.
There has even been talk of the Raiders wanting to use speedster Johnny Holton more this year. The Raiders also plan to run the ball much more with RB Marshawn Lynch in the fold these days. So Crabtree’s role in the Raider offense will be dramatically reduced and his numbers will shrink.
Put that together with Crabtree leading the NFL in drops last year and his $7 million a year contract. Don’t get it twisted, I love Crabtree but GM Reggie McKenzie’s draft picks are starting to get paid. QB Derek Carr and OG Gabe Jackson are now getting paid like top players at their respective positions.
And you know OLB Khalil Mack, DL Mario Edwards Jr., and Cooper are coming up soon. McKenzie likes to build through the draft and pay his picks well once they excel in their rookie contracts. Most of the Raiders’ free agents have contracts McKenzie can get out of without dead money on the salary cap.
And Crabtree is one of them so he’s on the list of players he is possibly considering cutting soon. OG Kelechi Osemele, Cook and Patterson are the three free agents the Raiders will likely keep awhile. The rest will likely have to make room for draft picks to sign their second contracts with the team.
Just win, baby!