Last week the Raiders essentially swapped Michael Crabtree out for former Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson. They gave him essentially the same salary to fill the same starting receiver spot, making both moves almost simultaneously.
The following day, the Ravens signed Crabtree to a deal that was also about the same as he was to receive from the Raiders to start for them.
The reactions I’ve seen from Raiders fans have been mixed. Some were disappointed in the move to let go of the 30-year-old Crabtree for the soon-to-be 33-year-old Nelson. And of course, others simply agree with the move the Raiders made.
So, let’s look at what the Vegas oddsmakers think.
Today, along with new Super Bowl odds, Bovada.lv put out props for several newly signed free agents, including their over/under on receiving yards for Nelson and Crabtree. They give a fairly significant advantage to Crabtree.
Here are those over/under numbers:
Michael Crabtree 875
Jordy Nelson 700
That’s a difference of 175 yards, which is quite a lot percentage wise. As a 16-game average, it puts Crabtree at 54.6 yards per game and Nelson at 43.75 yards per game. Both of those numbers would be better than either had last season when Crabtree averaged 44.1 yards per game and 32.1 yards per game.
But not all numbers are created the same.
If you go back to the previous season, when Nelson and Crabtree both had their starting QB’s healthy the entire season, Crabtree averaged 62.7 yards per game and Nelson averaged 78.6.
Crabtree will now be catching passes from Joe Flacco, who had a dismal season in 2017 and whose leading receiver Mike Wallace averaged just 49.9 yards per game with a total of 748 yards.
So, yeah, hard to make sense of this, honestly.
Which brings me to this question...
Do you think Jordy Nelson is an upgrade to Michael Crabtree?
This poll is closed