Editor's note: The above video is an interview with former league MVP Kurt Warner, who worked closely with Colin Kaepernick this offseason
Michael Crabtree isn't known for his lengthy chats with the media, but the Raiders' newest wide receiver pulled the curtain back on why he left the 49ers after six seasons.
“I needed new scenery. It wasn’t for me,” Crabtree told the San Francisco Chronicle. “I needed a quarterback that can deliver the ball, and that was hungry like I was.
“With all the stuff going on on the other side, it just feels so good to be on this side,” Crabtree said. “Just play ball and don’t worry about too much. Just play ball.”
There was plenty of drama over the the past two seasons, culminating with the exit of coach Jim Harbaugh and a mass exodus of household names, including the retirements of Patrick Willis, Anthony Davis, Justin Smith and Chris Borland.
Crabtree needing a change of scenery should come as no surprise. What is surprising are his comments about his former quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, with whom he flourished after failing to hit 1,000 yards in his first three seasons.
When Kaepernick replaced a concussed Alex Smith in 2012, Crabtree hauled in 41 receptions on 66 targets for 595 yards and five touchdowns (7 games). He averaged 14.5 yards per reception to finish the year after averaging just 8.0 YPR with Smith through the first eight games.
Kaepernick also helped the 49ers win five of their last seven games in a season that saw them reach the Super Bowl for the first time since 1994.
But Crabtree isn't second-guessing his decision. And it's not as if the receiver, who turns 28 on Monday, walked away because there wasn't a deal on the table. There was.
“A lot of people don’t know that the Niners offered me a contract, I just didn’t take it,” Crabtree confessed. “I wanted a fresh start. It was more money too -- the Niners offered me more money than anybody did -- but business is business and I wanted to come to a team that really wanted and needed me.
“It’s been a great move, for both parties. I feel really good about it. ... Blessed, really ... I like the guys around me and I would do anything for them, on or off the field,” Crabtree said. “We’re going to have fun.”