It is often said that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step and this timeless adage certainly proves true in the case of Michael Crabtree. An 11-year year veteran of the NFL, Crabtree has tallied impressive numbers and heroics since going professional in 2009. The wide receiver has also beaten several odds on the way to establishing himself as one of the most dominant players at his position in the league. Given the litany of Crabtree’s achievements in the NFL, it is quite easy to forget his humble origins. The truth, however, remains that he was once just a little boy playing the sport he loved on the streets of Dallas, Texas.
Laying The Marker In High School
Michael Alex Crabtree Jr. was born to African-American parents in the Texas City of Dallas in the United States. He came into this world on the 14th day of September 1987 and spent his childhood in Dallas where he attended David Wendel Carter High School. During his high school days, Michael kicked off his football career with the school team. He also participated in other sporting events such as track and basketball. Michael Crabtree was rated among the top football stars in his state. He consequently garnered a lot of attention from the top universities who all wanted him to come and ply his trade with them.
An All-American College Career
After his graduation from high school in 2005, the wide receiver went on to enroll at Texas Tech University on an athletic scholarship. In his first season in 2006, Michael received a redshirt because of his academic as well as positional issues (changing from quarterback to wide receiver). He, however, did not allow this fact to weigh him down but bided his time until he could get the opportunity to show what he was made of.
That opportunity came a year later and Michael did not disappoint. Making his debut in the 2007 season, the young man put up an amazing performance and recorded a total of 22 touchdowns, 134 receptions, and 1,962 receiving yards. For his efforts, he received universal All-American and All-Big 12 honors as well as the Biletnikoff Award, awarded to the best college wide receiver in the entire nation.
Michael also replicated this amazing feat the next year, receiving the same award as well as universal honors. This was for a mesmerizing performance that saw him record a total of 19 touchdowns, 97 receptions with 1,165 receiving yards. Following two outstanding seasons in the NCAA, Michael Crabtree wisely decided to strike while the iron was still hot. He forwent the remaining two years of his college career and declared for the 2009 NFL draft.
Michael Crabtree’s Drafting By The San Francisco 49ers
The wide receiver was chosen by the San Francisco 49ers during the 2009 NFL draft. He was the tenth player to be selected and after the draft, he went on to sign a six-year deal with the franchise. Michael Crabtree made his NFL debut against the Houston Texans on the 25th of October 2009, recording a decent 5 passes and 56 yards. He continued this impressive streak all throughout his rookie season and sophomore season and gained much respect amongst his peers and fans alike.
In his third NFL season of 2011, Michael suffered a foot injury whilst training alone. He underwent surgery and missed the crucial preseason schedule of the league. He also missed the first two games of the regular season but bounced back in the third game. The Texas native continued where he left off as the 49ers made it all the way to the NFC championship game. His team, however, failed to clear that hurdle, and thus, their dreams of making it to the Super Bowl disappeared.
Super Bowl Run
Crabtree rallied his teammates with his own impressive numbers and the 49ers eventually made it all the way to Super Bowl XLVII in the 2012 season. They however sadly lost out to the Baltimore Ravens by a mere three points. The year 2013 saw Crabtree sustain an Achilles tendon injury. He missed much of the season whilst recuperating from surgery. He, therefore, couldn’t make much impact and as such, turned his focus to the next season (2014 season). The new season turned out to be his last season with the 49ers and he bade them farewell with a total of 26 touchdowns, 4,327 yards, and 347 receptions.
Following the expiration of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers, Michael Crabtree became a free agent and signed up with the Oakland Raiders on a one-year deal worth $3.2 million. The wide receiver then proceeded to make such a good impression on his employers, recording an impressive total of 9 touchdowns and 85 receptions with 922 receiving yards, that they locked him down on a four-year contract extension valued at $35 million. Michael eventually only played out two of his four-year contract with the Raiders and totaled 25 touchdowns, 2,543 yards, and 232 receptions with the franchise. They released him in March 2018 and since then, he has become somewhat of a journeyman, playing one season each for teams such as the Baltimore Ravens and Arizona Cardinals.
How Has He Been Raking In The Big Bucks?
Michael Crabtree has built a decent fortune for himself in the course of his career and this is thanks to his contracts. The wide receiver has been at the receiving end (pun intended) of several lucrative contracts starting with his rookie 6-year deal worth $32 million. That deal paid him an impressive $5.3 million per annum until he moved to the Oakland Raiders. At the Raiders, Crabtree nabbed a four-year extension worth $34 million. This paid him an average salary of $8.5 million per annum for the two years that he spent with the Franchise. He subsequently took a pay cut upon joining the Arizona Cardinals in 2019 as his contract saw him receive an average of $7 million per annum.
Asides his contracts, Crabtree has also benefitted from longstanding endorsement deals with different brands such as EA Sports, Subway, Jordan Brand, and Mogo TXT. Additionally, the wide receiver also partnered with video game developers, Ubisoft, to promote one of their games, Hip Hop Dance Experience. In exchange for the promotion, Ubisoft donated $1,000 to the Boys and Girls Club of San Francisco for any touchdown scored by Crabtree. The player has since disclosed that the deal is close to his heart because the club’s sports facilities kept him out of trouble while he was a teenager. He therefore relishes the chance to provide such an opportunity for other youngsters.