11:07pm: The Raiders made Crabtree’s accord official late Monday night, via Twitter.
10:42pm: Crabtree’s deal is for one year and worth $3MM, with another $2MM available via incentives, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Twitter. Excluding the potential incentives, this contract represents Crabtree’s lowest base salary since his second season.
ESPN’s Adam Caplan also noted the deal was imminent.
Three wideout-needy teams — the Raiders, Ravens and Dolphins — made a late pursuit for the seventh-year receiver who enjoyed an inconsistent tenure with the 49ers, but the Raiders won out for the 27-year-old’s services. This marks a strange circle for these two parties, with the Raiders opting to take the faster but lower-regarded Darrius Heyward-Bey in the 2009 draft over Crabtree, who was viewed as that class’ top receiver at the time.
Crabtree’s asking price reportedly came way down from a $9MM-per-year request. The Raiders carry just more than $22MM worth of cap space after the Packers matched Sean Richardson‘s offer sheet earlier today.
Assuming he’s healthy, Crabtree will shoot to the top of a Raiders receiving corps that also houses James Jones and Andre Holmes. Crabtree caught 68 passes for 698 yards last season as he drifted down Colin Kaepernick‘s receiving hierarchy. But he’s shown the capability of being a go-to receiver as recently as 2012, when he piled up 1,105 receiving yards and scored a career-high nine touchdowns. The 6-foot-2 former top-10 pick in 2009 tore his Achilles the following spring, limiting him to five regular-season games in 2013.
Caplan adds this signing shouldn’t deter the Raiders from also bolstering the position early in the draft (Twitter link). They’ve been linked to Amari Cooper and Kevin White at No. 4 overall in the major mock drafts.
Marking the latest longtime 49er to depart after Frank Gore and Patrick Willis, Crabtree’s signing will count as a loss in the compensatory formula for 2016 draft choices. The 49ers lost two of their top four receivers from 2014, with Steve Johnson also not returning, but will deploy the former Ravens’ starting wideouts in Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith this season.