Why not? This is not a high risk deal. It is expected to be a one-year contract. I don't expect Crabtree to be a huge difference-maker, but he does make a weak receiver group better. His addition can't hurt this offense. The Raiders were trying to sign Randall Cobb and Jeremy Maclin early in free agency. Receiver is arguably their biggest need. I thought Crabtree was the best veteran option available the past few weeks. He is worth a short deal.
He has lost explosion: There is no doubt Crabtree, who will turn 28 in September, has lost some ability. He had a torn Achilles in 2013, and he has been dealing with lower leg issues. He clearly wasn't the same player the past season, when he averaged just 10.3 yards a catch and his season high for receiving yards in a game was 85. On Monday, I talked to an NFL scout who said he thought Crabtree is on the downside of his career.
Worth the risk: I covered the San Francisco 49ers when Crabtree returned from his injury in 2013. Even though he wasn't explosive, he still brought a spark to a good offense. The 49ers went to Crabtree with the game on the line in the Super Bowl and in the NFC title game in back-to-back years. Yes, they couldn't get the job done. But the truth is, this is a player upon whom a good team relied not too long ago. Let's see if he can get it together again.
Carr deserves the help: Crabtree is the first receiver the Raiders have given second-year quarterback Derek Carr this year. He is not Randall Cobb or Jeremy Maclin, but I bet Carr will enjoy having another legitimate receiving option to throw to this fall.
Give Crabtree a break: I know a lot of Raiders fans -- as loyal to their team as any fan base I've seen -- are still salty with Crabtree because he appeared to be laughing when the Raiders drafted receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey three spots before the 49ers took him at No. 10 in 2009. Remember, Oakland owner Mark Davis interviewed Mike Shanahan as a head-coaching candidate in January. There were fewer greater enemies of the late Al Davis than Shanahan, his former coach with whom he was in ligation for years. If Mark Davis can consider hiring Shanahan, the Raiders can sign Crabtree.