Free Agency

Report: “Vikings expected to be in the mix for Michael Crabtree”

Earlier this afternoon, it was tweeted that the Vikings are expected to be in the mix for former San Francisco wide receiver Michael Crabtree. Entering his 7th season in the NFL, Crabtree is likely looking for a new home with former Baltimore Raven Torrey Smith about to sign with San Fransisco.

In my preview of free agent wide receivers, I noted a strong possibility of Crabtree being a target due to a variety of factors: his age, salary expectations and skill. I stay true to my opinion that Crabtree would be a strong addition to the Vikings for those exact reasons.

As I noted, Crabtree has struggled through a history of injuries, but is not short of talent. Only 27 years old, Crabtree was drafted 10th overall out of Texas Tech in 2009.

Crabtree’s best season was without a doubt 2012 when he tallied 85 receptions for 1,105 yards and 9 touchdowns. The Vikings could use that kind of production from a receiver and due to Crabtree’s up and downs in San Francisco, they could find it at a relatively low cost.

This is a deal that just screams Rick Spielman, in my opinion. Spielman is notable for giving out 1 year ‘prove it’ type of deals for players who might be looking for a fresh start, new system or a rejuvenation of their career.

The Vikings just recently resigned Tom Johnson, who signed a similar deal last year and seemingly came out of no where to tally 6 sacks in 2014. Not a bad showing at all for a 30 year old interior defensive lineman.

Again, I admittedly am a huge fan of the idea of signing Crabtree. Some could argue he’s essentially the same receiver as Greg Jennings, but I like Crabtree’s youth and his potential to play with a chip on his shoulder. Not to mention, Crabtree has spent the majority of his career playing on the outside, not primarily a slot receiver like Jennings.

Those clamoring for a first round wide receiver might get their wish, it’s just that the receiver is already 27 and has been in the league for 6 years.

Be sure to check out the Vikings Territory Free Agency Live Blog presented by Arif Hasan for all of the latest news, rumors, and analysis.

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Brent LaBathe

Brent LaBathe (Contributor) Cloud technology leader by day, sports nut by night, Brent is a local purple diehard who's passion for the team boarders on obsession. After graduating from St. Cloud State in 2008, he was a contributing writer for and has always had a passion for writing. When he's not cursing his golf clubs for failing him yet again, he's constantly on twitter @BrentLaBathe.

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  1. I don’t want Crabtree here. What would he actually bring to this club? The vikings have enough role receivers already, they need a #1. Unfortunately the draft is the best place to find one of those right now.

    1. Why don’t you think Crabtree can be a #1? A lot of people thought he was when he was drafted. I think his up and down production is in part because of Greg Roman’s system in SF. He provides decent size, can make tough catches and can help fill the middle of the field, while going deep once and while too.

      1. I agree with Brent. I also happen to think he showed a lot of talent in San Francisco, but did not happen to rack up the stats because of the system and QB.

        1. I also agree with Brent.Norv will use Crabtree much better than SF did,and if we can add Boling as well then the passing game should be much improved.We could still add a receiver in the draft but wouldn’t be reliant on him playing at a high level right away,give him time to develop.
          As I stated in Brent’s WR preview,this is Teddy’s team now,and we need to give him every opportunity to win.

          1. Twist it all you want, Teddys best chance to win is with Peterson in the backfield.

            1. Peterson won’t be around forever,in fact he may be gone as soon as today.
              Get over it,it’s Teddy’s team,and we need a much better passing game,with or without Peterson

  2. So much depends on Peterson. If we keep him, Crabtree would be a good pickup, letting us use the top draft picks for defense.

    Now, if we moved Peterson ( for a high pick) ( if no high pick, then don’t move him) I would be more inclined to use a high pick on one of the top receivers in the draft, and the second high pick on defense.

    Cap room generated allows a FA running back to be signed. I know the class isn’t terribly deep, but there are some veteran players who could contribute quite a bit In a RB by committee approach.

  3. CP84 must be doing great with his off season ‘adjustments’
    could end up a bust

        1. There were several Vikings who referred to Jennings as the best wr in football in his prime. He was great with Castle in 2013 and he became Bridgewaters check down guy as Teddy gained experience. The outside guys were the big play guys but Jennings is still the man on 3rd down.

      1. I would argue that Jennings is a valuable asset, but his production is not worth what we’re paying him.

        1. Brent LaBathe , Very true..! Right on the money..! Jennings is a valuable asset but needs to take a pay cut..! To compliment his worth on his production….

  4. If Crabtree is healthy he certainly has the talent to have a big year for the Vikings. Building talent around Teddy should be a high priority!

    This leads me to believe maybe Jennings might have been asked to restructure his contract… and maybe that “meeting” didn’t go well?

  5. AOK with Crabtree. He actually teach CP & or another WR rookie the position, along with Johnson while he plays on the other side. I think that Crabtree runs good routes and is able to get out of jams a good amount of time. Even if he gets injured he can teach. Jennings is more a slot teacher.

  6. Jennings is better than Crabtree. Crabtree only plays when he wants too and He will get hurt. He always does. It is fun watching Sherman through his focus off. Vikes would do better if Wallace becomes available or Andre Johnson.

  7. I guess the question is, are we upgrading our position group (receivers) with a potential signing here? And the answer would be yes I think. He is an upgrade over Adam Theilen which is our weakest link right? OR is it Patterson? or Jarius wright or Charles Johnson? Either way, He has a place on our team and will upgrade our receiving corps whether or not Jennings is with us for this year and/or beyond AND whether or not we draft a receiver high. So, As long as we don’t break the bank on the guy, then bring him in.

    1. That’s true. Andre Johnson would probably cost to much and is as durable as Crabtree. Mike Wallace would be a great fit and would probably have a decent price tag. KI would still like to see them draft White.

  8. And as for Jennings, He is a good receiver. The best we have as of now. You don’t get better by “dumping” good players. Yes he is a bit overpaid, but sometimes teams are forced to suck it up and take a cap hit when the FA market is dry, which it was 2 yrs ago when we signed him and we were absolutely desperate for receiver help. If we want to restructure his contract now or in the future, in order to free up more cap room to pay other top talent at other positions, then it only makes sense to acquire another talented receiver like Crabtree to gain leverage in the situation.

    I don’t know if Crabtree can be or is a bonafide #1, but I do think the whole “we need a #1 receiver” rhetoric is also overblown. We need talent. Good quarterbacks find open receivers, whatever their rank in the pecking order is.

  9. Let’s cut the whole receiver staff, add Johnson, cuz he’s a number one, add Crabtree, cuz he’s a number one, should be awesome as second to Johnson. Want Cecil Shorts, he might be a number one some day. Reggie Wayne is ready to go too! Heard Wes Welker is coming back, Charlie Joiner, Sterling Sheppard, Vance Johnson, Billy Waddy? Please. Step down now

  10. Cut Jennings and sign Crabtree to a prove it deal. If White is there at 11, you have your receiving corps for the Vikes for the next 3 years. Would add a lot of talent for Teddy.