One of the San Francisco 49ers most notable 2015 free agents is wide receiver Michael Crabtree. The 49ers have been in touch with him about a contract, but we don't know where they stand in the negotiation process. What we do know is the 2015 free agency market currently features some great wide receivers. Aside from Crabtree, it includes Roddy White, Wes Welker, Dez Bryant, Demaryius Thomas, Jordy Nelson and many more.
One name no longer on the list is Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall. Earlier this morning during an appearance on The View, the Bears receiver apparently signed a 3-year, $30 million extension. Marshall subsequently tweeted out the news, along with word that he was donating $1 million to "The Mental Health Community".
As we wait for word on Crabtree and the 49ers, I figured it would be worth keeping an eye on wide receiver contracts. This is Marshall's third contract, while Crabtree is still finishing up his rookie contract. Marshall put up absolutely monster numbers the last two seasons, averaging 109 receptions and just over 1,400 yards. While Crabtree can't negotiate with those kinds of numbers, he can negotiate based on his contributions relative to the rest of the 49ers offense.
And of course, the other issue is that he is now a year removed from his Achilles injury. I have to think any negotiations between Crabtree and the 49ers will involve some discussion about his injuries. Prior to last year he had only missed one regular season game due to injury (Week 2, 2011 vs. Cowboys). Crabtree seemed to be getting back in his groove late last season when he returned, and at this point, all indications are that he should be take things back to another level this fall. Add in the fact that the team has loaded up on offensive weapons, and Crabtree could be in line for a very solid season.
Right now the 2015 wide receiver market is pretty stacked. Those contracts will help shape each other, but removing players from the market also potentially helps those remaining when free agency hits next March.