The Cardinals’ pursuit of veteran free agent wide receiver Michael Crabtree is on hold, at least for the time being, after Crabtree declined to accept Arizona’s contract offer on Monday.
That doesn’t mean it still couldn’t happen, Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic reports. It also doesn’t mean the Cardinals won’t pursue other wide receivers that are available now or those who might soon become available.
“We’re going to continue to bring guys in that we think can possibly improve our roster and Mike is a guy who I’ve known for a long time and has had a ton of success in this league,” coach Kliff Kingsbury said before Tuesday’s practice at State Farm Stadium. “So, we’re going to keep bringing guys in and see what fits.”
Contrary to popular opinion, the Cardinals’ interest in adding Crabtree didn’t really have anything to do with the team’s general lack of experienced receivers.
Of the dozen wideouts presently on the roster, only one other than Larry Fitzgerald has appeared in more than 17 NFL games. That would be Pharoh Cooper, who’s only played in 33.
But youth is part of the Cardinals’ strengths, according to Kingsbury, who said the inexperience at the position isn’t such a bad thing and it’s not what prompted the team to look into signing Crabtree, 31.
“I don’t think it does,” Kingsbury said of Arizona’s collection of young receivers. “I’m excited about it, honestly, for them to start with a young quarterback (in Kyler Murray) and grow up together and learn a system and hopefully grow up in that system for quite some time. I think, to me, it’s a fresh start for all those guys and to learn from a guy like Fitz, that’s one way to expedite how to do things as a pro.”
Kingsbury was asked if it’s possible that a deal could still be struck with Crabtree, possibly even after Thursday night’s preseason opener against the Chargers.
“Anything can happen,” he said. “Like I said, he’s a tremendous player. He’s been very successful in the league. So, we’ll see what happens.”
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