There have been reports that the Ravens have reached a contract agreement with Michael Crabtree, former 49ers and Raiders WR. Crabtree is a former 1st round pick of the San Francisco 49ers, coming from a college career at Texas Tech. While Crabtree has never made a Pro Bowl in his 9 year NFL career, he has consistently posted strong numbers in receiving yards and especially in receiving TDs, with 25 in his last 3 seasons in Oakland. Crabtree only became available after the Raiders signed Jordy Nelson to a contract, and decided to part ways with their starting WR in Crabtree. In 2017, with the Raiders having a down year in their passing game, Crabtree posted 618 receiving yards on 58 catches, but with 8 TDs. Those stats would’ve put him 2nd on the Ravens in yards and catches, but tops on TDs.
Crabtree is well known among Ravens fans also for being part of the legend of their Super Bowl 47 victory. In the final drive for the 49ers on offense, the 49ers targeted Crabtree on 3 straight throws, with a rookie CB named Jimmy Smith defending. All 3 were broken up or incomplete, though many people claimed Jimmy Smith may have held Crabtree on the final incompletion. Crabtree later said that he was actually temporarily blinded during the final throw, due to a hit that forced the incompletion on 3rd down, but disagreed that Jimmy Smith committed a foul on that play.
Crabtree’s size and stats in his career draw some immediate comparisons to Anquan Boldin. Both were around 30 years old when joining the team (Boldin was 29, turned 30 during the 2010 season. Crabtree will turn 31 in September). Both are 6’1″, 215+ pound WRs. Both had about 580 receptions in their career when coming onboard, with Boldin having about 500 more receiving yards, but Crabtree having more receiving TDs. More than anything, Crabtree represents the type of WR the Ravens truly need: a big, strong, downfield WR who can takeover the game. The Ravens still NEED to hit on WRs in the draft, as Crabtree is getting to the wrong side of 30, but he should provide the anchor to the WR staff that the Ravens lost when Steve Smith retired last year.
After the debacle of the Ryan Grant failed physical, Crabtree’s signing should provide a boost to the Ravens spirits and to their abilities on offense. Just PLEASE let him pass that damn physical!
Fantasy Spin: Sure — The Crabtree signing is an important one for the Ravens. He provides Flacco with an elite red zone threat and a receiver with a great catch radius. He is the best possession receiver since Steve Smith Senior. His upside is 10 plus touchdowns, 90 catches and north of 1,000 receiving yards. (P/R lead fantasy football writer Keith Tabor)
Side note: How awesome is it that a guy with CRAB in his name, comes to the CRAB CAPITAL OF THE WORLD! The crossover potential was not lost on Jimmy’s Famous Seafood…