Sunday, Michael Crabtree took the field for their finale amid reports the Raiders were expected to move on from him after this season. He started the game, as he has most every game since he arrived in Oakland three seasons ago. But then he saw just 17 snaps in the game.
“I’m out here playing ball,” Crabtree said. “Whatever they ask me to do. Like today, if they only want me to play ten plays, I’ll play ten plays. The season over now. There’s nothing I can do about it. I played probably 13 plays. I wasn’t in the game plan. Every time I went in, I did my job.”
Crabtree saw two targets in the game, catching both passes for a combined 17 yards. This on the heels of his game in Philadelphia in which he saw just three targets with no catches. Among them was a drop at the goal line that may have made the difference in what was still a 3-point game into the final seconds.
It’s those drops, along with what is perceived as a bad attitude and his $7.7 million salary that is seen as the reasoning behind him falling out of favor with the team. It could also lead to them wanting to see more from Seth Roberts and Cordarrelle Patterson in the season finale. Crabtree was not happy about this.
“Yeah, I mean because if I react then I’m a bad guy,” said Crabtree. “They’ll ask ‘why isn’t he on the field?’ You have to ask the coach that. I do everything I’m supposed to do. I play 60 minutes every time we play. Game winners after game winner. I did everything they asked of me these last two games and I’ve probably had three targets. Nobody is saying anything about that but it’s all good. Like I said, I’m going to keep working hard man and be me.”
We can’t really ask the coaching staff about that, because head coach Jack Del Rio was fired immediately after the game.
Crabtree’s status with the team would figure to be tied to the previous coaching staff. Which would also suggest that a new coaching staff could change the team’s plans for him.
Crabtree, who just turned 30, has two years left on his current deal and his salary rises each season. In that regard, his status could be more tied to management who don’t foresee his production matching his salary. But, yet again, a new staff could always lead to a repaired relationship and perhaps a restructured contract.