Michael Crabtree

Don't let the sour ending spoil the sweet memories of Crabtree's time in Oakland

Don't let the sour ending spoil the sweet memories of Crabtree's time in Oakland

Michael Crabtree served the Raiders well. He gave the receiver corps instant credibility back in 2015, when Amari Cooper was just a rookie and the Raiders were fresh off a 3-13 disaster.

The veteran got his own career back on track after a sour ending in San Francisco, with 922 yards and nine touchdowns that led to a contract extension.

Crabtree signed a four-year, $34 million contract extension on Dec. 9, 2015. He only played half of it. He got $17.6 million out of the deal before he was released Thursday in favor of Jordy Nelson.

This piece isn’t about that transaction. We have to mention the sad ending, where Crabtree clashed with Jack Del Rio’s coaching staff, conflicted some with Derek Carr (per The Athletic) and let frustration permeate through his position group.

He was barely used down the stretch last year due to aforementioned factors which, as much as anything, led new head coach Jon Gruden to go with Nelson over Crabtree in nearly a straight financial swap.

General manger Reggie McKenzie said Crabtree was in his 2018 plans until, of course, he found something better.

Crabtree’s time with the Raiders didn’t end well. NFL divorces rarely do. Just ask Packers favorite Jordy Nelson, kicked to the curb after a decade’s excellent service.

This isn’t a request to feel bad about his unceremonious exit. He’ll make millions somewhere else. My advice: Don’t forget the good times.

Don’t forget Crabtree’s penchant for clutch catches, especially in the 2016 season. His game-deciding two-point conversion in New Orleans was a thing of beauty. So were all three touchdowns in a road win against Baltimore. How about the “slice of blue” touchdown catch in San Diego? Or, how about the game-winning score on an untimed down last year to beat Kansas City?

There are too many third-down conversions to count, and 25 total touchdowns in three seasons in silver and black. He was Derek Carr’s security blanket, a heavily targeted option and often the No. 1 guy even with Amari Cooper on the pitch.

He was integral in the team’s first playoff push since 2002, and that shouldn’t be overlooked. Crabtree wasn’t perfect. Not even close. He didn’t like the media and rarely spoke to reporters, but that never mattered much to me. His Aqib Talib quarrels were a pockmark on his Raiders legacy, but he should be regarded as an excellent free-agent signing who gave the Raiders a lot in his time here.

Raiders release WR Michael Crabtree

Raiders release WR Michael Crabtree

Update (3:42 p.m.): The Raiders have officially released wide receiver Michael Crabtree after three seasons.

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The Michael Crabtree era in Oakland is reportedly coming to an end, according to a national report. 

The Raiders are releasing Crabtree on Thursday reports Adam Schefter of ESPN. With Crabtree out the door, it is highly likely the Raiders sign veteran wide receiver Jordy Nelson. 

Crabtree caught 58 passes for 618 yards and eight touchdowns in 14 games in 2017. His receptions and yards were his lowest in his three years with the Raiders. 

More to come...

Report: Raiders won't release WR Michael Crabtree

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USATSI

Report: Raiders won't release WR Michael Crabtree

Just two weeks ago, new Raiders head coach Jon Gruden made it sound as if Michael Crabtree would be back with the team this season.

While it wasn't certain then, it appears to be happening now.

In danger of being released to save $7 million, Crabtree will be brought back by the Raiders for the 2018 season, according to The Athletic.

Back on Feb. 15, Gruden addressed Crabtree's future with the team.

“I got to bump into Crabtree. Hopefully we can get the best out of Crabtree and his career," Gruden told the Bay Area News Group.

The 30-year-old Crabtree is owed $7,687,500 in salary and bonuses in 2018 and $8,250,000 in 2019.

After two productive seasons with the Raiders, 2017 was a substandard season for the former first-round pick. He caught just 58 passes for 618 yards and eight touchdowns.