Things to know about new Cardinals receiver Michael Crabtree
After speculation earlier this month when veteran wide receiver Michael Crabtree worked out for the Arizona Cardinals, a deal has come to fruition.
The former San Francisco 49ers WR agreed Wednesday to sign with the Cardinals.
Crabtree spent six years with the Niners before playing three with the Oakland Raiders and one with the Baltimore Ravens.
He is expected to bring experience and talent to a young wide receiver room.
Here are some things to know about the new Arizona receiver:
Crabtree signed with the agent of Kingsbury and Murray
On Aug. 5, Michael Crabtree worked out for the Arizona Cardinals.
On Aug. 21, he signed with them.
Sometime between those two dates, Crabtree hired Kliff Kingsbury’s agent, according to Pro Football Talk.
NFL Players Association records obtained by Pro Football Talk show Crabtree fired Doug Hendrickson and hired Erik Burkhardt shortly after visiting Arizona. Crabtree had been offered a contract by the Cardinals after his visit in early August, but he turned it down, according to 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s John Gambadoro.
Burkhardt tweeted a gif welcoming Crabtree on Wednesday.
Honored to welcome King 🦀 to the Fam! Let’s EAT bro! 🍽@KingCrab15
— Erik Burkhardt (@ErikBurkhardt) August 22, 2019
But these aren’t the only offseason Cardinals acquisitions Burkhardt represents. Rookie quarterback Kyler Murray is also represented by Burkhardt, who is the Co-Head of Select Sports Group.
Based in Texas, Burkhardt has seen success with those in his state. The three Cardinals clients have Texas roots: Kingsbury is from San Antonio and coached at Texas Tech; Murray played at Allen High School and spent a year at Texas A&M; Crabtree attended high school in Dallas and college at Texas Tech). He was also the agent who parted ways and then re-signed with Johnny Manziel.
Burkhardt now appears to be extending his influence to the Cardinals organization, too.
The new Cards WR has beef with some DBs in the NFC West
If you don’t remember Richard Sherman’s “When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that’s the result you gonna get!” rant after making an NFC Championship-winning play in January 2014 by swatting a last-second pass to Crabtree in the end zone, go watch it.
That beef apparently started at, ironically enough, a charity event hosted by Crabtree’s new teammate Larry Fitzgerald. Sherman went to give Crabtree a handshake during the after-party at The W in Scottsdale. Crabtree tried to fight him, Sherman’s brother, Branton, told the Seattle Times.
Or maybe it was the other way around. A source for NJ.com who was at the event said it was actually Sherman who was getting in Crabtree’s face trying to fight.
Either way, this much is clear: At a Larry Fitzgerald-hosted event, Crabtree and Sherman almost fought. That culminated in Sherman’s outburst to Erin Andrews immediately following the playoff game.
How will Niners fans react when Crabtree faces Sherman this year? The teams are scheduled to meet twice this season, on Oct. 31 and Nov. 17.
But that’s not the only NFC West player Crabtree has well-chronicled history with.
Remember the 2017 chain incident with then-Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib?
Talib yanked off a necklace Crabtree wore and then laughed about it.
When they met the next season — 11 months later — Talib went for his chain again. Punches were thrown. They fought.
That’s all in the past, though; apparently, the two happened upon each other at a go-kart facility in Texas and made up.
You can see them be friends with each other when the Los Angeles Rams face the Cardinals on Dec. 1 and Dec. 29.
Crabtree operated his own clothing line
Phoenix Suns fan-favorite Kelly Oubre has a new man in town to get some tips from for his Valley Boyz clothing line.
Unfortunately, it’s unclear if the company is still running. The Instagram page hasn’t been updated since April 20, 2018, but he did have a fashion show over the summer of 2018 with NFL players in attendance, including John Brown, Crabtree’s then-Baltimore Raven teammate and a former Cardinals wide receiver.
Take a look at the Instagram page for an array of looks.
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Bob Knight tried to get him to play basketball
“Football or basketball?”
That’s what legendary Hoosiers coach and then-Texas Tech coach Bob Knight whispered to Crabtree during an AAU basketball game in 2004, according to the New York Times.
At Carter High School, Crabtree was a star multi-sport athlete, and averaged 20.8 points, 6.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists as a senior, according to the Ravens website. He was named MVP of a state all-star game, according to the New York Times.
Crabtree was so good as a young kid, in fact, he almost gave up football for basketball. When he was a sophomore, he thought about playing only on the hardwood. His dad convinced him to go to football practice for one more week. Crabtree changed his mind.
He ended up at Texas Tech anyway, and the Knight family thought he could have been a star had he pursued basketball. Pat Knight, Bob’s son, told the New York Times he thought Crabtree would have been an all-conference player.
Quite the athlete, Crabtree also competed in track and field in high school, according to Heightline.
A decade of consistency
All that is interesting, but how can Crabtree help the Cardinals on the field?
Crabtree has been remarkably consistent over his 10-year career, recording at least 600 yards in every season, excluding 2013, in which he only played five games.
He has broken the 1,000-yard receiving plateau twice, in 2012 and 2016, and has four years with eight or nine touchdowns.
Crabtree also has playoff experience, playing in 10 games spread across five different seasons. In those, he has 44 receptions for 587 yards and 6 touchdowns.
With such a young Cardinals receiving core — No. 2 WR Christian Kirk is only a second-year player, two rookies are expected to see playing time — Crabtree’s experience and talent will be a welcome addition to Arizona.