Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
During the first few weeks of free agency, few teams seemed to be interested in former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree. Then, as Bleacher Report NFL Insider Jason Cole put it. what little market there was for his services “crashed.”
Per Cole, Crabtree was seeking $9 million or $10 million per year. Even with the inflated prices of free agency, that seems like a lot. Crabtree ’s actual worth will be determined by a market that so far has produced few suitors, especially at that price.
Crabtree will visit the Oakland Raiders next week, according to Rand Getlin of Yahoo Sports. If the Raiders or another team signs Crabtree. how much should they be willing to pay? What should the market be for a receiver two years removed from his only 1,000-yard season?
Given their need for targets for second-year quarterback Derek Carr, the Raiders may value Crabtree more than a team with a lesser need. If there is one team that’s going to overpay players this offseason, it’s the Raiders.
It may also be a chance
for Crabtree to spark his market, as many players have used the Raiders as leverage in their negotiations with other teams. The Raiders pursued Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb before he re-signed during the legal tampering window.
Either way, there are a few ways to try to determine Crabtree ’s actual worth. We can look at the raw statistics and do some calculations based on last year’s performance or we can try to find players like Crabtree for comparison both from statistical and non-statistical viewpoints.
Calculating the WR Market
Many wide receivers have signed this offseason, so the market rates for them are established. Crabtree ’s asking price likely scared away any potential suitors before now, but let’s assume for a second that production drives the market.
The top-10 free-agent wide receivers this offseason averaged 62 receptions for 787 yards and five touchdowns last season. That’s not far off of Crabtree ’s 2014 marks of 68 receptions for 698 yards and four touchdowns. They also averaged 4.3 receptions and 53 yards per game to Crabtree ’s 4.3 receptions and 44 yards per game.