Arizona Cardinals circle back and sign Michael Crabtree

Arizona Cardinals

Two weeks after he worked out, the Arizona Cardinals and Michael Crabtree have now agreed to terms.

After a positive workout two weeks ago. the Arizona Cardinals seemed set to sign Michael Crabtree. But the veteran wide receiver was looking for more money than was offered.

On Wednesday night Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported the Cardinals were closing in on a deal with the veteran wide receiver. A bit later, the team confirmed it’ll be a one-year deal. Earlier in the day, the Cardinals cut Kevin White in a move that now seems to have directly made room for Crabtree. Arizona also got a little thinner at wide receiver on Tuesday, when rookie Hakeem Butler suffered a broken finger.

Crabtree spent last season with the Baltimore Ravens, totaling 54 catches for 607 yards and three touchdowns. His numbers fell off dramatically when Lamar Jackson took over for Joe Flacco, as the Ravens’ offense shifted run-heavy.

In the nine games Flacco started last year, Crabtree had 41 receptions for 472 yards with at least five targets in every game (76 targets; 8.4 per game). In seven games Jackson started, he had just 13 catches for 135 yards on 24 targets (3.4 targets per game). Now he’ll get another rookie quarterback in Kyler Murray, albeit in what should be a far more wide-open offensive system.

Crabtree turned himself into an NFL top-10 pick in Mike Leach’s pass-happy system at Texas Tech. Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury played quarterback under Leach in Lubbock, and he has retained “Air Raid” influence and concepts as a coach. So in terms of pure fit, Crabtree seems to be lined up for success in Arizona.

In a development that was not coincidental, Pro Football Talk passed along the news that Crabtree recently hired the agent who represents Kingsbury and Murray.

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Crabtree will join Larry Fitzgerald as a veteran presence in Arizona’s receiving corps. Last year’s down year should be noted, but he had at least eight touchdowns in each of the previous three seasons and has posted five seasons with at least 68 receptions in his career. As one-year fliers go, one of the top remaining free agents at any position is a solid one.

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