One of the San Francisco 49ers more notable free agents this offseason is wide receiver Michael Crabtree. As we roll through this final week of the season, the questions have arisen as to his future and that of the 49ers other free agents. The players had media availability before practice today, and Crabtree had a chance to chime in on his own future.
The first tweeted comments was about if he wanted to return:
Do you want to return to the #49ers next season? "Depends. I mean, I don't even want to talk about it." - Michael Crabtree— Paul Gutierrez (@PGutierrezESPN) December 24, 2014
Cam Inman got a few more specifics beyond just this. Crabtree said:
"I've grown a lot, seen a lot and we've done a lot as a team. I feel I've contributed a lot to the team, and I can't wait to see what's the next chapter of my career, and to maximize my talent and my youth."
Eric Branch had a few more comments from Crabtree.
Crabtree is in an interesting situation. After a great 2012 season, Crabtree missed most of 2013 with an Achilles tear. He came back at less than 100 percent to finish out the season. He was seemingly back to full health at the start of the 2014 season, but he got a bit banged up at times. It was a down year, and at times it seems like he was phased out of certain aspects of the game plan. He mentioned once being a third down receiver. That came after a win, which isn't good, but the team seemed to get more opportunities to Brandon Lloyd at times. There was little rhyme or reason to a lot of what we saw, but that could really apply to the whole offense.
Crabtree's free agency portfolio took a hit this season, but it will be interesting to see if someone pays him for some of the potential he reached in 2012, and looks past the injuries and the down year for the 49ers offense as a whole in 2014. It is a fairly deep market of top-end wide receivers, so it is hard to tell what kind of offers Crabtree will get. I think he gets some decent offers because he has shown what he can do, but free agency can be very unpredictable.
I added a brief poll below. Rather than try and predict specific times, I just went with a simple yes/no question.