Fourth of July mailbag for the Oakland Raiders:
@BWilliamsonESPN if Michael Crabtree has a successful year, do you believe he is part of long term plan?— David Flores-Workman (@5kingsfan) June 29, 2015
Bill Williamson: This is the most critical season of Michael Crabtree's career. He entered last season thinking he'd get a long-term contract. However, Crabtree was one of the disappointments of free agency. He had to settle for a one-year, prove-it deal with Oakland a month into free agency. Yet, Crabtree, once known as a top receiver, can salvage his career. If Crabtree, 27, can show his lower-leg injuries haven't robbed his explosion and he can have a big season for the Raiders, he will be popular in free agency next year. So, Crabtree is not only trying to impress the Raiders, but he is trying to catch the attention of the entire league.
BW: Whether it's media hype, fan hype or even hype within the organization, at this point, all of it is just that: hype. Let's face it; every year, we hear about all the offseason strides the Raiders have made. Then, another playoff-less season follows. So, for me, the proof is always what we see on the field. Have there been improvements made this offseason? Sure. Were there enough improvements made to make a true difference? We'll have to wait until September to find out.
@BWilliamsonESPN pick up veteran guard or not?— Humberto Peraza (@HumbertoPeraza) June 29, 2015
BW: General manager Reggie McKenzie will consider upgrades everywhere. As for guard, the Raiders seem content going into camp. They like their group with the focus being on the competition at right guard. J'Marcus Webb heads to camp leading veteran Khalif Barnes and rookie Jon Feliciano. There have been a lot of guards on the market, yet the Raiders haven't made a move yet. So, it seems, they are willing to see how things go in camp at the position.