The Green Bay Packers ultimately decided to pay Jermichael Finley, and along the way, fellow tight end Tom Crabtree did not receive the same payday. The Packers elected not to place a tender on the career-backup tight end, and eventually the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed him to a two-year deal worth $1.6 million.
Signing with the Bucs is a solid opportunity for Crabtree, as he should get a chance to win playing time between training camp and the preseason. But can he be a breakout star in 2013?
The chances of that aren’t very good. But, a very solid, career-best season is not out of the question. Crabtree is coming off his best season in Green Bay, in which he caught eight passes for 203 yards and three touchdowns. That’s not very many receptions, but his 25.4 yard average is pretty impressive. Not to mention, having nearly half of his receptions result in points.
Crabtree is regarded by most as a guy who’s good, but just not great. He’s an average blocker, and maybe a slightly above average pass-catcher.
For the Bucs, he was a low risk signing that added some depth to the tight end position. It’s a position that now mainly consists of Crabtree, Luke Stocker, and Nate Byham. This latest signing could also point to the team moving on from Dallas Clark, but that’s still unclear at this moment.
We’ll see just how good Tom Crabtree really is in 2013, because he will no longer have Aaron Rodgers throwing him the ball. However, it won’t be much of a drop off with Josh Freeman tossing him the pigskin. Look for Crabtree to set a new career-high in receptions this year, and to continue improving as a tight end. Is he ever destined for more that occasional pass-catching and special teams? We’ll know a lot more after this upcoming season.
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