Three days into free agency, the Green Bay Packers are remaining patient, deliberate.
Ted Thompson let the market for Steven Jackson play out. He's doing the same thing with Greg Jennings. The general manager will not make a rushed, snap decision. Finances come first. Meanwhile - as the Packers slow play their hand elsewhere - there's a chance one important role player could slip away.
Tight end Tom Crabtree, thee of cult-hero fame on Twitter, is already generating plenty of interest. After the Packers decided not to tender the restricted free agent, one league source indicated that "multiple teams" have inquired about the tight end. As Crabtree spends vacation with his family in Knoxville, Tenn., a market has been developing for him.
In summary, this was the risk Green Bay took in not tendering the 27-year-old.
Though he won't break the bank, there is a league-wide need for block-first, versatile players like the 6-foot-4, 235-pound Crabtree. Through his three years with the team, Crabtree became a core special teams player, reliable blocker and, in 2012, a deceptive playmaker on offense.
Three of his plays sparked wins. Crabtree took a shovel pass from Tim Masthay 27 yards for a touchdown on fourth and 26 against Chicago. At Houston, his 48-yard score iced a blowout win. And against Arizona, he knifed 72 yards up the seam for a touchdown to preserve a win. Though he's sparsely used as a receiver, the Packers are 5-0 when Crabtree scores a touchdown.
That's more of a bonus than anything. Above all, Crabtree endeared himself to coaches with his knowledge of the offense and blocking ability. With Andrew Quarless out all of last season, Crabtree was the team's best blocking tight end.
Tight end Tom Crabtree draws plenty of interest
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | Mar 15