Cardinals add veteran WR Michael Crabtree on one-year deal

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Jack Baer
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BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 30, 2018: Wide receiver Michael Crabtree #15 of the Baltimore Ravens carries the ball in the second quarter of a game against the Cleveland Browns on December 30, 2018 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland. Baltimore won 26-24. (Photo by: 2018 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Images)
Michael Crabtree joins a Cardinals receivers group that skews quite young these days. (Getty Images)

After one small false start, the Arizona Cardinals have signed veteran wide receiver Michael Crabtree to fill out Kyler Murray’s corps of pass-catchers.

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The team announced the one-year deal Wednesday night, but did not disclose terms.

Michael Crabtree actually signs with Cardinals

An erroneous report earlier this month indicated Crabtree had signed with the Cardinals, but it turned out he had simply worked out with the team at the time. This time, it’s for real, as the Cardinals cut former Bears first-round pick Kevin White earlier in the day.

Per Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, one thing that changed between the first attempt to sign Crabtree and now is that the player has swapped out agents.

With Crabtree now actually on board, the Cardinals have another veteran alongside Larry Fitzgerald to balance out a group of wide receivers that is skewing very young these days.

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The Cardinals added Andy Isabella, Hakeem Butler and KeeSean Johnson in the draft his year to go along with second-round pick Christian Kirk. All of those receivers save Butler, who could reportedly end up on injured reserve with a hand fracture, figure to see decent playing time for the rebuilding Cardinals this year.

Where does Michael Crabtree fit with the Cardinals?

Even with a crowded receivers room, head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s Air Raid system should still provide some targets for Crabtree.

The 31-year-old Crabtree is about to enter his 11th NFL season following a disappointing stint with the Baltimore Ravens. Crabtree initially looked poised to be the Ravens’ top receiver after signing a three-year, $21 million deal with the team, but his success with Joe Flacco was limited and he was fully marginalized once Lamar Jackson came in and made the Ravens the run-heaviest offense in the NFL.

The Ravens ended up releasing Crabtree after a single 607-receiving yard, three-touchdown season. Crabtree probably isn’t completely done in the NFL, but he’s going to need to work up a connection with Murray earlier rather than later if he wants to stick with the Cardinals throughout the season.

Funnily enough, Crabtree is now set to face old friends Aqib Talib and Richard Sherman twice this year as divisional rivals.

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