The Raiders released Crabtree on Thursday afternoon.
Although Jon Gruden expressed optimism over Crabtree’s prospects in mid-February, the new coach was noncommittal when asked about the veteran wideout at the NFL Scouting Combine two weeks later.
In 2017, Gabriel was 0-for-9 on those same throws.
The New York media was lousy with reports of Wilkerson plodding through practices and games, and by the end of his run, he was being suspended for missing multiple team meetings.
The natural assumption is that Wilkerson got his big contract from the Jets before the 2016 season and suddenly stopped caring.
Maybe he didn’t get along with new coach Todd Bowles.
Perhaps Wilkerson was a product of playing alongside Damon Harrison and a motivated Sheldon Richardson, although Wilkerson did get to spend the last two years with the wildly talented Leonard Williams.
Furthermore, $9 million (or $14.9 million last season) is far too much money for a receiver who’s gained just 1,689 yards on 194 catches over five NFL seasons. The gamebreaking threat the Rams envisioned they were getting when they selected him eighth-overall in the 2013 draft still shows up occasionally, but isn’t worth close to $10 million annually when it’s only on display a handful of times per season.
Los Angeles has realized this and adjusted compensation accordingly, keeping alive Austin’s chance to significantly impact the team while also costing them much less in the long run. It will be interesting to see how much less (especially in terms of cap space) it will be.
He was astute, exceptionally smart and an accomplished sportsman and businessman. His marketing and finance expertise guided the League’s Finance Committee for years. He pumped life and enthusiasm into a community and a franchise that had no winning seasons before he became involved, and he brought them a championship and a great sense of pride that will be felt for years to come. Our thoughts go out to his family and all of the lives that he touched. This is a sad day for the NFL.