Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area writes that the recent contract extension signed by Bears WR Brandon Marshall that will pay him $10 million annually is likely the “absolute ceiling” for 49ers WR Michael Crabtree.
Maiocco points out that Crabtree’s best season — 2012 when he totaled 85-receptions for 1,105 yards receiving and nine touchdowns — would only rank as the seventh best for Marshall who has five 100-catch seasons and an extremely impressive seven consecutive years with 1,000 yards.
According to Maiocco, the contracts of fellow 49ers receivers Anquan Boldin and Stevie Johnson may actually be more realistic comparison for Crabtree.
While there is a case to be made here regarding Crabtree’s production in relation to that of Boldin and Johnson, he is still only 26-years-old and could probably do better than their current base salaries on the open market.
It’s hard to imagine Crabtree’s agent accepting something in the range of $6 – $7 million per year right now when his client could top 1,000 yards and reach free agency at 27-years-old.
Crabtree, 26, is entering the final year of his six-year, $32 million rookie contract and is set to make $3.5 million for the 2014 season.
Last year, Crabtree was limited to playing just five regular season games due to an Achilles injury he suffered. He finished the year with 19 receptions for 284 yards receiving and a touchdown.