It seems as though any recognizable NFL wide receiver without a job and with some career left in the tank is inevitably connected to the Ravens.
Baltimore is a team that regularly gives receivers who are somewhat long in the tooth, a chance to extend or rejuvenate their careers. The approach has been relatively successful for the Ravens in that several have provided the team with economically priced productivity.
Players like Derrick Mason, Anquan Boldin and Steve Smith, Sr. have all donned the purple and black and proved to be capable targets without bankrupting the team’s cap structure. They fit the formula – right player, right price.
Michael Crabtree, given that he’s still available, is more than likely an affordably priced receiver. But is he the right player?
The former San Francisco 49er struggled in 2014 and was the 95th ranked wide receiver among the 110 graded by Pro Football Focus. Crabtree was tied for 5th in number of dropped passes with ten, just one behind Torrey Smith who was tied for second with eleven.
More importantly, Crabtree really doesn’t complement the other Ravens receivers all that well. He’s not a burner (averaging just 10.3 yards/catch in 2014), he can’t take the top off of opposing defenses and the argument could be made that he’s really not much better at this point in his career than Marlon Brown or Kamar Aiken.
Besides, the Ravens can easily gain intel on Crabtree if they want – perhaps they have. John Harbaugh only has to pick up the phone and ask a few questions of brother Jim. It’s also quite possible that when the Ravens and 49ers held joint practices last summer at The Under Armour Performance Center that Ozzie & Company saw all they needed to see from Crabtree.
The name fits Baltimore but unfortunately this crab isn’t a keeper.