What do the Buccaneers have in Tom Crabtree, aside from someone who's somehow become a fan favorite in Green Bay despite not making a huge impact on the field. The fact that the Green Bay Packers declined to tender him (he's a restricted free agent) does say something about what they think he's worth. That is: less than $1.3 million per year. And then there's the fact that the guys over at Pro Football Focus think he's useless. Their grades are contentious and perhaps even significantly less than useful, but
Still, the question remains: what will Crabtree actually bring the Bucs on the field?
Here's what Kevin McCauley of Acme Packing Company had to say:
Crabtree is a classic good at everything, not great at anything type of guy, which is a good quality for a second or third tight end. He's a solid blocker and receiver, even if he's not particularly big or fast. He had his best season of his career last year, and it wouldn't be surprising if he continued to improve. He's also very funny on Twitter and was a fan favorite. A lot of people will be sad to see him go.
That's what you see when you start watching him, too: a solid player who can block and catch, but will never be physically dominant. He's a little undersized for a blocker and won't outdo Nate Byham and Luke Stocker in that area, but he's not bad either. As a receiver he may be a little more accomplished than any tight end currently on the roster, but he won't attract a lot of attention from defenses.
Of course, he does have his moments, like this awesome special teams touchdown. There's a reason why he's a fan favorite, after all. He managed to play in 33% of all offensive snaps last season, and added 99 special teams snaps. That shows you what he is: a role player who won't really impact a defense.
Tom Crabtree will be a good special teams player and a versatile tight end, but not a game changer in any sense of the word. He's an okay blocker, but won't do much one-on-one with a defensive end. He has the speed and hands to do some damage in the passing game, but was barely used in that way in Green Bay. The question is: will he evolve into something more with the Buccaneers, or will he be just another tight end?