Tom Crabtree ended up surprised and feeling bittersweet about leaving the Green Bay Packers.
Though the Packers didn't tender Crabtree in restricted free agency, they still wanted to re-sign him, and Crabtree figured he'd be back with the Packers. But the Tampa Bay Buccaneers made a better offer, and on Friday he signed a two-year deal withe them.
Crabtree Saturday told ESPNMilwaukee.com he and his wife, Chelsea, were disappointed the Packers weren't as interested in signing him as the Bucs.
"We were prepared for a few different scenarios," Crabtree said. "This scenario that is actually playing out, it was on the list, but was probably near the bottom. I kind of expected all along to receive the tender or if not, get some kind of deal done soon after (with the Packers). It just didnít happen. It was kind of a thing where it felt like I was being put in the same position I was three years ago, and I feel like Iíve worked too hard to be back in the same old spot.
ďI just wanted more of a show of faith from them. I know thatís not how this business works. Maybe itís a little naÔve on my part. It didnít work out the way we were hoping initially. Weíre excited. Chelsea and I have been racking our brains over this. Itís a new opportunity, and I think itís good for our family.Ē
Terms of Crabtree's new two-year deal were unavailable. He told ESPNMilwaukee.com that the Packers offered a one-year contract at the NFL minimum for a player entering his fourth season ($630,000) plus a small signing bonus.
ďWith Tampa, we were in communication a lot more with them all along this week,Ē Crabtree said. ďThere was a time when we didnít really hear from Green Bay at all for a couple days. It was disappointing. I have a lot of good relationships there. Still, Iím very thankful for all the opportunities I was given there. But it was disappointing, ultimately. Tampa Bay was willing to go more out on a limb than Green Bay and that meant a lot to me.Ē