Michael Crabtree has a history with some of the cornerbacks he will be facing in the NFC West this season, but he is not letting that get into his head.
Speaking with reporters Monday, the new Arizona Cardinals receiver was asked about playing against Aqib Talib of the Los Angeles Rams and Richard Sherman of the San Francisco 49ers, both of whom are lurking in his division.
“I know what you’re trying to get to, but we’re not going to go there,” replied Crabtree simply, per Darren Urban of the team’s website.
In case you forgot, Crabtree, who posted 607 receiving yards and three scores for the Baltimore Ravens last season, went at it with Sherman in the infamous 2013 NFC title game. Meanwhile, he got into it with Talib a few times in recent years, the most notable incident of which led to hands being thrown.
The Cardinals face the 49ers for the first time on Oct. 31 and the Rams for the first time on Dec. 1. While Crabtree might not think too much of those matchups, plenty of us are already looking ahead to them on the calendar.
Michael Crabtree long seemed destined to end up with the Arizona Cardinals, and it seems like that may come to fruition.
Crabtree and the Cardinals are closing in on a contract, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported on Wednesday night.
Crabtree worked out for the Cardinals on August 5, but the two sides did not reach a deal.
So what has changed since?
Rookie fourth-round pick Hakeem Butler has a finger injury that has taken him out for the preseason and could result in him landing on injured reserve, according to a report. Additionally, Arizona released Kevin White, a 2015 first-round pick by the Bears who still has not scored a touchdown in his NFL career.
The Cardinals have a new coach in Kliff Kingsbury who likes to run the Air Raid offense, which often involves four wide receiver sets. Therefore they will need plenty of capable receivers, making Crabtree an intriguing signing.
Crabtree, who turns 32 in September, was released by the Baltimore Ravens in February after spending just one season with the team. He had 54 catches for 607 yards and three touchdowns last season.
Michael Crabtree may not be headed to Arizona after all.
Pro Football Talk reported on Monday afternoon that the Cardinals had signed Crabtree. However, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported later in the evening that the Cardinals had not signed the receiver and were just working him out.
Crabtree was released by the Baltimore Ravens in February after spending just one season with the team. He had 54 catches for 607 yards and three touchdowns last season.
Crabtree turns 32 in September. He was thought to potentially be a good fit for the Cardinals under Kliff Kingsbury due to his background playing in Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense at Texas Tech. Kingsbury, a former Leach quarterback, is expected to bring some of his Air Raid principles to the NFL in his first season as Cardinals head coach.
Veteran players are starting to hit the market as teams begin to clear cap space and cut some big names.
The Baltimore Ravens are the latest, reportedly informing wide receiver Michael Crabtree of his release.
Crabtree spent his first and apparently only season in Baltimore in 2018. He was targeted 100 times, catching 54 passes for 607 yards and three touchdowns. In terms of yardage, he was the team’s third-leading receiver last year.
Crabtree, who turns 32 in September, will hit the open market once again. He had two years remaining on the three-year, $21 million deal he signed with Baltimore last March, and the Ravens will clear about $4.6 million in cap space by releasing him now.
While there were some exceptions, Week 5 was not a great one if you were a quarterback, or especially a kicker. There were a lot of notably underwhelming performances, including a handful of high-profile quarterbacks and a kicking nightmare in Detroit. Those were hardly the only positions to suffer, though, as receivers, defenses, and even coaches were left looking a bit silly after Sunday’s events.
Here’s a look at 15 of the biggest disappointments of NFL Week 5.
Mason Crosby, K, Packers
It’s safe to say Crosby had the worst kicking performance of the 2018 season. His first miss, wide left from 41 in the first quarter, was unusual, but sometimes good kickers just blow one. Then he missed off the right upright from 42, followed by another wide right from 38, and it was clear that something was going on. A missed extra point in the third confirmed that Crosby’s confidence was shot and initiated a Twitter pile-on, and sending him out there in the fourth to miss from 56 — more understandably — felt like cruel and unusual punishment. It was so bad for Crosby that the Packers saw fit to let him hit one from 41 with seven seconds left just so he could see one go through the uprights. Crosby has five seasons, including the previous three, where he missed just four kicks all season. To say this was uncharacteristic for him is an understatement.
There will be no chain-snatching this year.
Aqib Talib said on Tuesday that his beef with Michael Crabtree is over. According to NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero, Talib shared his comments in a much more colorful way, saying the “s—‘s dead.”
Talib and Crabtree have an interesting history. They fought during a game and got suspended last year. The season before that, Talib ripped off Crabtree’s chain in a game.
Talib and Crabtree were facing each other twice a season during those years owing to their time with the Broncos and Raiders, but they’re both with new teams now. Perhaps being out of the same division has led to cooler heads between them.
Every NFL team has that one offensive player who makes his team go. It can often be the quarterback, but some offenses are built around a talented running back or a dominant No. 1 receiver.
Which offensive player is most vital to each team’s success? Which player does everyone look to to get it done when it’s most needed? Here’s a look.
Arizona Cardinals — David Johnson, RB
It’s not really a coincidence that the Cardinals struggled so much last season after Johnson suffered a season-ending wrist injury after just 11 carries in the season opener. The 26-year-old scored 20 touchdowns the year before, so losing him meant the absence of their biggest playmaker. He should be ready to go this season, and Arizona will be desperate for him to return to the form that saw him lead the NFL with 2,118 yards from scrimmage in 2016.
Atlanta Falcons — Julio Jones, WR
The Falcons will want to get Jones’s contract situation squared away as quickly as possible, because Matt Ryan needs him. His yardage numbers are incredible, and he’s collected at least 1,400 yards receiving in every season since 2014, even in spite of the occasional health issue. 1,500 yards is well within reach for Jones if he is healthy in 2018.
The Baltimore Ravens moved quickly after free agent Ryan Grant failed a physical, bringing in Michael Crabtree instead.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Friday that the Ravens had agreed to terms with Crabtree on a three-year deal.
Crabtree was released by the Raiders after they signed Jordy Nelson, making for a quick turnaround on his part. He’s coming off his worst season as a Raider, catching just 58 passes but managing eight touchdowns.
This move had always looked likely after a failed physical opened the door. Both Crabtree and the Ravens moved quickly to make it a reality.
The Baltimore Ravens are expected to turn their focus to wide receiver Michael Crabtree after Ryan Grant failed his physical.
Baltimore had agreed to a four-year, $29 million deal with Grant, who had 45 catches for 573 yards and four touchdowns last season — all career-high marks. But then Crabtree became available after the Raiders released him following their signing of Jordy Nelson.
Crabtree has much more appeal than Grant and is a far more accomplished player. Even in a down season last year, Crabtree had 58 catches for 618 yards and eight touchdowns — all of which dusted Grant’s numbers.
Some may find it curious that the Ravens are saying Grant failed his physical. It just seems logical that they came up with a way to back out of the deal once Crabtree became available.
The Oakland Raiders may be the beneficiaries of Jordy Nelson being released by the Green Bay Packers. Or at least they hope so. And if they are, they likely would cut Michael Crabtree.
Nelson is set to visit with the Raiders on Wednesday after being released by the Packers on Tuesday. Green Bay will add pass-catching tight end Jimmy Graham and felt like Nelson was expendable given his age (nearly 33) and salary (around $10 million cap hit). The Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Michael Gehlken says that if the Raiders are able to sign Nelson, they would release Crabtree.
Releasing Crabtree could save the team around $7 million. The Raiders have said publicly that they will bring back Crabtree next season, but Gehlken has reported they are willing to move on from him.
There are quite a few things about the Raiders that could be draws for Nelson. Former Packers coach Edgar Bennett is the team’s wide receivers coach; Derek Carr is the quarterback; and Jon Gruden is the new head coach. There’s a lot of promise with the Raiders, and Nelson may see that.