After suffering a heartbreaking 34-20 loss against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 13, the Oakland Raiders started Week 14 off on a positive note by announcing that they had signed wide receiver Michael Crabtree to a brand new 4-year deal worth $32 million overall (18 million guaranteed).
With the signing, Oakland now boasts a formidable 1-2 punch at the receiver position and adds another building block moving forward. Crabtree, who was signed on a one year deal during the off-season, has provided second year quarterback Derek Carr with a safety net, garnering 66 catches, 760 yards and 7 touchdowns in twelve games. In addition to being a reliable target, Crabtree has also taken away some of the pressure from first round pick Amari Cooper, who himself is also having an outstanding season with 62 catches, 920 yards and four touchdowns.
Looking at the offense, the signing is a big boost for a unit that has been surprising at times, and should only get better next season. If everyone is able to continue to gel the way they have, Oakland’s offense should be one to watch in 2016 as they now have play makers at the most important positions.
If Oakland can find a few offensive lineman and the defense becomes a more stout unit in their second season in Jack Del Rio‘s second year, look for the Raiders to be a much improved team and to vie for the division title in what could potentially be a weak AFC West.
Although they have been in the basement for all these years, Oakland is finally beginning to emerge as a threat and show that they are a team on the rise.