AFC Notes: Crabtree, Raiders, Bengals

Raiders receiver Michael Crabtree has been among the NFL’s best value signings this season, writes Field Yates of (Insider subscription required). The 28-year-old Crabtree inked a one-year, $3.2MM with Oakland that contained $1.8MM in additional incentives, and he’s more than made good on that investment, posting receptions for nearly 600 yards and six touchdown through eight games, teaming with rookie Amari Cooper (whom he’s actually out-targeted 80 to 72) to form one of the league’s best receiver tandems. Tom Brady, Andrew Whitworth, and Alvin Bailey are just a few more of the AFC players who make up Yates’ all-value list.

Here’s more from around the AFC:

  • Directing an offense that ranks 2nd in Football Outsiders’ DVOA, Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson has emerged as a candidate for head-coaching vacancies, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. Jackson, who spent one season as the Raiders’ head coach in 2011, has helped QB Andy Dalton post the best season of his career while Cincinnati has started 8-0. “Well, I tried to convince a few people of that last year; that he is excellent,” said Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis. “He is doing a fine job, which is most important, what he is doing right now, because that’s the most important thing, that is what you can control.”
  • Speaking of those Bengals, Paul Daugherty of the Cincinnati Enquirer spoke with owner Mike Brown about the culture changes that have lead to Cincinnati remaining undefeated thus far. While noting that such discussions are often a “chicken and egg” argument — what came first, the winning or the attitude? — Brown did allow that the club has been trending in a successful direction for some time. “The attitude here is good and you can argue the attitude made winning possible. It wasn’t something that came about overnight,” said Brown. “It was good decisions, getting players and having them stay healthy and learn what their responsibilities were, not just on the field. And finally, (getting) our share of a little luck.”
  • Via, Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf penned an open letter to the community, clarifying where exactly money for a new Raiders stadium would come from. Private funds would be the preferred route, per Schaff, but were public cash to be used, it would only be money that was already earmarked for infrastructure improvements.
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