Cardinals offered Michael Crabtree $2.5 million, with $2 million in incentives

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Something happened on the way to Phoenix for receiver Michael Crabtree. More specifically, something didn’t happen.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Cardinals and Crabtree had no communications about potential contract terms before Crabtree went to Arizona to work out. Crabtree was excited for the opportunity, and he assumed that any offer would be in a ballpark that reflects his level of skill and experience.

When Crabtree emerged as the winner of a three-man contest that included former Akron receiver Kwad Smith and (we’re told) former Cowboys receiver Terrance Williams, the Cardinals expressed a desire to sign Crabtree. Crabtree expressed a desire to sign with the team. But then came the financial offer, and Crabtree was taken aback.

The Cardinals offered a base deal of $2.5 million, with another $2 million in incentives. Crabtree envisioned something in line with Randall Cobb‘s one-year, $5 million deal in Dallas or Danny Amendola‘s one-year, $4.25 million deal in Detroit — especially since they had 383 and 575 receiving yards, respectively, in 2018.

In his only season with Baltimore, Crabtree caught 54 passes for 607 yards in an offense that veered sharply from the pass after the Week 10 bye. In nine games started by former Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, Crabtree averaged 52.4 receiving yards per game. In the seven games started by quarterback Lamar Jackson, Crabtree averaged only 19.2 yards per game.

The Cobb and Amendola deals came earlier in the offseason, when more money is typically available. The Cardinals apparently believed that Crabtree would welcome their offer, given that he currently doesn’t have another team that is aggressively pursuing him. Still, Crabtree decided that, even though he was excited about joining forces with Kliff Kingsbury, a base deal of $2.5 million wasn’t good enough.

If the deal sweetens, Crabtree may change his mind. Unless, of course, someone else realizes that Crabtree could be a key component to an offense that will use him more like the Ravens did in the first nine games of the 2018 season and less like they did in the final seven.

18 responses to “Cardinals offered Michael Crabtree $2.5 million, with $2 million in incentives

  1. Did this when he was a rookie and never caught up to the rest of his class. Slow learnererer

  2. But isn’t Crabtree pretty much a slot guy at this point? Why sign him when you have a HOF WR in the slot already? Why not go with someone younger and faster and most importantly, cheaper, that they can develop? One of the features of the spread-air raid is scheming guys open, he might have just helped the Cards out by saving them money.

  3. Crabtree is average at best and going on 32 years old. 2.5 Million with another 2 mil in incentives is a good deal for him. Another diva who thinks hes Jerry Rice

  4. What does Crabtree think he should get? No other team wanted him. Those other wide receivers got more money because somebody wanted them early in the offseason, not in the second week of training camp. If he doesn’t like $2.5 million, let’s see how he likes $0.0 million.

  5. Very very strange. This must mean either that Andy Isabella’s knee injury is much worse than originally thought; or the Cardinals are not satisfied with their receiving corps (which was supposed to be one of their bright spots). They have Fitz and Cameron Kirk from last year and have rookies Andy Isabella, Hakeem Butler, KeeSean Johnson, and signed Kevin White. They also have several others including Byrd. Something doesn’t add up here.

  6. Can’t fault him for trying to maximize his income, but he’s always valued his abilities more than the league does going back to his rookie year holdout.

  7. There’s a reason Crabtree is no longer in Baltimore. Drops. He’s done it his entire career and Baltimore wouldn’t sign him for any amount. This is not mentioning he’s slow by NFL WR standards. He should have taken the AZ deal and considered himself lucky. The alternatives are not likely promising, unless the Giants see him as an upgrade.

  8. he assumed that any offer would be in a ballpark that reflects his level of skill and experience

    One could say what they offered him is more than he’s worth.

  9. Bad move by Crabtree. If it were the opening week of FA, nice. We’re into Camp now and teams aren’t exactly beating the door down to get him.

  10. Weird time to be cheap. Having another vet around with Fitz to help out your rookie qb sounds like a good idea.

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