San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke is down in Arizona for the annual March league meetings, and he had a chance to address Michael Crabtree's current free agent status. In a session with Bay Area media, he did not entirely close the door to Crabtree returning to the team.
"As long as Michael's out there, he's just like any other UFA," Baalke said Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings. "You never say never. Michael did a heck of a job with us for six years."
This comment comes a few hours after Matt Maiocco reported Crabtree is reluctant to return to the 49ers, and is willing to take as much time as necessary to find the right situation. According to Maiocco, Crabtree is looking for a team that will have greater emphasis on the passing game.
Trent Baalke and Jim Tomsula have said the team intends to run quite a bit in 2015. And even if they do pass more, the addition of Torrey Smith is one more mouth for Colin Kaepernick to feed. Crabtree wants to be a big part of the offense, and that is entirely reasonable. Odds seem slim that it would happen in San Francisco. However, I am curious to see how long this wait takes. There was some chatter he might sign with the Miami Dolphins, but that quieted down. He very well could wait until injuries start to happen in offseason workout programs, or even into training camp.
There is bound to be a currently unknown team looking for an impact wide receiver before the season starts. When healthy, Michael Crabtree can make an impact on the game. He is not Calvin Johnson or Odell Beckham Jr., but he can make things happen. We'll see where that ends up happening.