One big reason for the team’s surprising play has been wide receiver Michael Crabtree. On Thursday, it was announced that Crabtree had agreed on Wednesday with the Raiders to a four-year extension to his contract of $35 million with a total of $19 million guaranteed.
Crabtree, who is 28, is playing his first season with Oakland after spending six previous seasons with the San Francisco 49ers. He is currently on pace for one of the best seasons of his 7-year career as a pro. Thus far, Crabtree has 66 receptions and 760 yards. He has 7 touchdown receptions.
Last spring, Crabtree signed a 1-year deal with Oakland for $3 million as a free agent.
Crabtree’s best game statistically this season was during Week 2 when he had 9 receptions for 111 yards with one touchdown in a 37-33 win by the Raiders against the Baltimore Ravens.
Since that time, Crabtree has 52 receptions and 612 yards, while finding the end zone on six occasions.
Crabtree was chosen as the No. 10 pick overall in 2009 and enjoyed good productive seasons for San Francisco, though he did not develop into an elite threat downfield with the 49ers.
In his six previous seasons at San Francisco, Crabtree’s high in receptions was 85. This year he is on track to catch 88 for the Raiders.
The presence of Crabtree opposite the Raiders star rookie wide receiver Amari Cooper is one reason the passing attack for the Raiders is one of the top 10 in the league.
Derek Carr in his second year under center for Oakland has connected on almost 64% of his passes for 3,178 yards with 26 touchdowns.
Despite the offense firepower, the Raiders are still two games under .500 and lost four of their past five games to sit on the outside looking in at the AFC playoff picture.
However, the season regardless has been positive for the Raiders, especially if they can win three or even all four of their remaining games, which would give them an outside shot at a playoff berth.
With Carr’s talent passing the ball and rookie Cooper seen as a future superstar, extending the contract of Crabtree was a logical choice by the Raiders organization to maintain continuity.