HENDERSON, Nev. — Two years to the day after Maxx Crosby checked himself into a rehab facility for alcoholism, the Las Vegas Raiders Pro Bowl defensive end agreed to a multi-year extension with the team on Friday.
It is a four-year, $98.98 million deal with $95 million in new money and $53 million guaranteed, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
“I want to be of service to other people going through whatever they’re going through right now,” Crosby said Friday afternoon. “It’s crazy. My fiancee feels me a picture [of myself from] two years ago today…the look on my face and how much different I looked, I didn’t even recognize that person. But just two years later, I have the ability to not only take care of myself forever, but my kids and my dogs.
“I came from a tough situation but I just want to show people there that anything’s possible if you put your mind to it.”
Crosby, 24, was drafted by the Raiders in the fourth round of the 2019 draft (No. 106 overall) out of Eastern Michigan. The 6-foot-5, 255-pound Crosby had 10 sacks as a rookie, followed that up with seven more in 2020 and was named to his first Pro Bowl after racking up eight sacks last season, when Pro Football Focus had him leading the NFL with 100 pressures, the third-most in a single season since 2006 behind TJ Watt’s 119 pressures in 2014 and Aaron Donald’s 106 pressures in 2018. Crosby was then named the Pro Bowl’s defensive MVP after batting down three passes and getting a sack.
Locking up an edge rusher before the quarterback is a reversal of form from what the Raiders did in 2017, when Derek Carr was signed to a five-year, $125 million extension and the team expected Khalil Mack to play out the final year of his contract in 2018. Mack instead held out and was traded to the Chicago Bears before that season. Now, Carr is entering the final year of his deal and new coach Josh McDaniels, while saying Carr is his starter, acknowledged at the combine that no extension talked with the quarterback had taken place.
“Maxx Crosby exemplifies the characteristics of a Raider,” McDaniels said in a statement. “His work ethic and leadership are unmatched and we’re thrilled that he will continue to be an important part of this organization for years to come. It’s an exciting day for Maxx and for the Raider Nation.”
Crosby, whose 25 sacks is tied for fourth-most in franchise history for a player in his first three seasons and is one of 11 players in the league with at least seven sacks in each of the last three years, said extension talks and the process happened “pretty fast” with the Raiders’ new regime.
“They wanted to get it done fast, we wanted to get it done fast, but it had to be right at the same time,” Crosby said. “[General manager] Dave Ziegler and coach McDaniels, they showed their commitment to me right away and they didn’t want to play any games. They told me everything you want to hear as a player with new coaches coming in. They were awesome, super positive, and not only showed me the good things about me but the things they want me to improve on.
“It was stressful but it was also exciting.”
Crosby has 141 tackles (91 solo), 12 assists defended, four forced fumbles and a fumble recovery in his career. He has been an edge rusher in the Raiders’ traditional 4-3 alignment but new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham, who has run schemes with 3-4 sensibilities, insists he will adapt to his players’ skills.
Graham and Crosby initially put on a pre-draft visit in 2019, when Graham was with the Miami Dolphins.
“Just looking at Maxx, obviously he’s long, great motor, I mean, it’s a lot of stuff to work with there,” Graham said.
“I’m just excited because the times I’ve been around him, he seems like great energy. I’m a firm believer that when you’re at practice, when the big, long guys are running around the field with great energy , it kind of energizes the whole the whole team. When you feel those big guys running by you and stuff and they’re talking, they have great energy. And I’ve had that in my past and I think that’s a positive. That’s definitely a positive.”
And with his payday and two-year anniversary, Crosby said he was not satisfied.
“Goals? I want to be a Hall of Famer,” he said. “You don’t get to the Hall of Fame with one Pro Bowl and one All-Pro. I want to keep doing it, keep getting better.
“Two years ago, mentally I was in a very bad place. Physically, I wasn’t in a good place and I really had to re-evaluate everything that I had going on. One of the main things of AA and the 12 Steps is not looking too far in the future and not looking too far in the past, worry about the 24 hours and taking it one day at a time. A lot of people think it’s cliché and corny…but it’s only two years. I ‘ve got so many years ahead of me, not only in the league but as a human being. So, I just want to continue to get better as a man and as a player every single day.”