Why the Chargers Should Sign Michael Crabtree and Ndamukong Suh
When the new league year began last week, a plethora of players changed teams in a matter of days. Despite a large number of transactions, there are still several free agents who can help the Los Angeles Chargers. Two of these players are wide receiver Michael Crabtree and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. The Chargers already have talent at these positions but these players can give them depth necessary for a deep playoff run.
He had an elusive high school career where he starred at quarterback. After redshirting his freshman year at Texas Tech he dominated college football as a wide receiver. In his only two collegiate seasons, he twice won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s top receiver and was unanimously named All-American in both seasons. He finished his college career with an astounding 3,127 yards receiving and 41 touchdowns.
After his stellar collegiate career, he was drafted in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers but did not play until the middle of the season due to a contract dispute. Despite the delayed start, he finished his rookie season with 625 yards receiving and two touchdowns. His best season was 2012 when he recorded 1,105 yards and nine touchdowns despite playing with two quarterbacks. In his six seasons with the 49ers, he averaged 12.8 yards per reception.
His next stop was with the Oakland Raiders who were in the hunt for their first playoff appearance since 2002. He immediately contributed with 922 yards and nine touchdowns in 2015 but the team failed to make the playoffs. The following season saw the franchise make the playoffs and Crabtree was a huge reason why. He had 1,003 yards and eight touchdowns during that season of resurgence.
After a subpar 2017 season, he signed with the Baltimore Ravens who were trying to give quarterback Joe Flacco one more Super Bowl victory before handing over the reins to newly drafted Lamar Jackson. Flacco failed to impress and Jackson rejuvenated the offense with his feet as well as his arm. Crabtree helped him adjust to the NFL with 607 yards and three touchdowns. He was released after the season.
He had a productive college career before his senior season. It was during that season when he exploded for 85 tackles and 12 sacks. He placed fourth in the Heisman Trophy vote, rare for a defensive player, and was picked second overall in the 2010 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions
He started off strong his rookie year with 66 tackles and 10 sacks and earned the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. He played consistently well while in Detroit and recorded 36 sacks over course of five seasons.
He moved on to the Miami Dolphins for the 2015 season and was invited to his fifth Pro Bowl after the 2016 season. It was during that season when he recorded a career-high 72 tackles along with five sacks.
He left Miami after the 2017 season for the Los Angeles Rams who were stockpiling talent for a Super Bowl run. He stood out in the midst of a talented defensive line and contributed with 59 tackles and 4.5 sacks. The Rams made it to the Super Bowl but lost to the New England Patriots 13-3, ending Suh’s lone season in Los Angeles with disappointment.
The Chargers have a small amount of cap space, $14,042,407, and will have to make some roster moves, or renegotiate some contracts if they hope to lure both Crabtree and Suh to long term deals. They have talent at both position groups but the added depth may prove to be worth the risk.
The Chargers have good receivers in Keenan Allen and Mike Williams but Crabtree can give them much needed playoff experience. Suh would be an upgrade over defensive tackles T.Y. McGill, Corey Liuget and Justin Jones. He could play well with fellow nose tackles Brandon Mebane and Damion Square.
The Chargers have the talent for a Super Bowl run but the AFC is loaded with talented teams and depth will be needed for the playoffs. Signing both Michael Crabtree and Ndamukong Suh could put them on top of the conference and in the conversation for a Super Bowl run.