After courting each other for some time, the Arizona Cardinals made it official and signed veteran free agent wide receiver Michael Crabtree on Wednesday.
NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport announced the sides were working on a deal and just before midnight eastern time the Cardinals announced the one-year contract for Crabtree.
Crabtree had worked out for the Cardinals earlier this month and it was reported he would sign on with Arizona to catch passes from No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray. However, the sides couldn’t agree on a number and Crabtree remained a free agent. The Cardinals reportedly offered a one-year deal with a base salary of $2.5 million plus up to $2 million in incentives the first time around.
Arizona released Kevin White — a former first-round pick of the Bears — on Wednesday, clearing the deck for Crabtree. He’ll join fellow veteran Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk in the Cards wide receiver corps. Andy Isabella, Hakeem Butler and KeeSean Johnson are others on Arizona’s roster looking for targets.
Michael Crabtree Stats & History
Crabtree was the 10th overall pick in the 2009 draft by the San Francisco 49ers. He’s also spent time with the Oakland Raiders and Baltimore Ravens.
Crabtree has totaled 7,477 yards and 54 touchdowns over his 10 seasons in the league, but has never made the Pro Bowl. He’s had two 1,000-yard seasons in 2012 and 2016, but has never had double-digit touchdowns, with his career-high being nine.
He played in 16 games for the Ravens last season. He made 54 catches for 607 yards and found the end zone twice.
The former Texas Tech standout has been involved in some high-profile scuffles during his time in the NFL. He clashed with then-Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman in the 2014 NFC title game, with Sherman famously saying: “I’m the best corner in the game! When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that’s the result you gonna get! Don’t you ever talk about me.”
Crabtree also got into it with Aqib Talib — twice actually. He had his chain snatched by the five-time Pro Bowl corner and the most recent incident involved both getting ejected.
With Crabtree signing with the Cardinals and Talib holding down a spot with the Rams, the two will face each other twice per season, renewing the rivalry.
Kyler Murray, Cardinals Looking to Rebound
Murray had a rough outing in his second preseason game, going just 3 of 8 passing for 12 yards against the Raiders. The No. 1 overall pick was also sacked twice, including once for a safety.
The Cardinals and Murray will have another chance to get on track against the Vikings on Saturday in what should be a “dress rehearsal” for the team’s regular season opener against the Detroit Lions.
“I know there will be a couple of wrinkles,” Murray said. “We won’t be running the same five plays we have been.”
Crabtree could be on the field if he hits the ground running and does come to the table with some familiarity with the offense. During his time at Texas Tech, he played in Mike Leach’s air raid offense, which is what first-year head coach Kliff Kingsbury — a former Red Raiders QB — brought to Arizona.