The Oakland Raiders head into their offseason coming off a hugely disappointing 2017, and change could be afoot. There are already rumors they are looking to pursue Jon Gruden as head coach. But even if the current brain trust remains, there could be other changes. Las Vegas-based Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken is reporting the team is expected to release wide receiver Michael Crabtree after this season.
The Raiders would clear $7,687,500 if they release Crabtree, but Gehlken suggested his release would be due to more than just his salary.
Changes are coming, and sources have indicated those will include parting with a player whose production is not considered worth the baggage.
Crabtree has caught 58 passes for 618 yards and eight touchdowns this season. This is coming off back-to-back 80+ reception seasons, including 1,003 yards last season. He remains a consistent end zone threat, with at least eight touchdowns each of his three seasons with the Raiders.
Crabtree has excellent hands, but just to dispel this early, I don’t see the San Francisco 49ers kicking the tires on him if he is released. The easy response has been he’s a diva and is not someone John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan would try and sign.
But even beyond that, I don’t see him filling a role the 49ers need. Pierre Garçon’s return will provide them the kind of veteran hands they need. I do think Crabtree is still a quality receiver, but the 49ers seem more likely to invest in younger receivers, be it an Allen Robinson in free agency, or the draft.