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High price of Free Agent receivers making retaining Michael Crabtree look like wise move

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Michael Crabtree’s contract is beginning to look like a bargain

NFL: Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

One of the storylines for the Raiders this offseason was whether they would bring back Michael Crabtree for a fourth season. The veteran receiver signed a one-year contract back in 2015, and then was awarded a four-year extension worth $35 million at the end of the season. Crabtree could be released with zero dead money, but the huge contracts recently given to free agent receivers suggest the Raiders would be wise to retain King Crab.

Sammy Watkins was the fourth leading wide receiver for the Rams in 2017. But don’t tell that to the Chiefs, the Raiders rival just made him the third highest paid receiver in football offering up a giant three-year contract worth $48 million with $30 million guaranteed at signing. That puts Watkins among the 15 highest paid non-QB’s in the league.

The fireworks didn’t stop there, the Chicago Bears agreed to terms with Allen Robinson inking him to a three-year, $42 million dollar deal. While Robinson is a play-maker, it is big time money considering he missed the 2017 season with a torn ACL.

Once the top-two receivers were off the market, many thought prices would settle as the available talent decreased. Wrong.

Washington joined the frenzy signing former Seattle Seahawks WR Paul Richardson to a five-year, $40 million deal with $20 million in guarantees per NFL Network’s Mike Garafalo. This is the same Paul Richardson that accumulated a career total only 1,302 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns over four NFL seasons.

Then the Jacksonville Jaguars dished out a four-year contract to retain Marquise Lee worth a maximum of $38 million including $18 million guaranteed. Like Richardson, the former USC standout had pedestrian production throughout his first four years totaling 2,166 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns.

Compare this to Michael Crabtree who has a combined 16 touchdowns in the last two seasons alone and is one year removed from a 1,000-yard season, often coming up clutch in big situations for the Silver and Black.

While he had a down season in 2017, Crabtree deserves another chance after the Todd Downing experiment exploded in spectacular fashion. If the Raiders need any more convincing, they should look no further than his cap hit of just $7.7 million. He’s produced more than every receiver on the free agent market, and is far less expensive.