Offseason activities came and went for the Las Vegas Raiders, with training camp slowly approaching. This offseason has been filled with tons of developments as far as the roster is concerned. The team is now home to several Pro Bowlers, All-Pros, and possibly, one day, Pro Football Hall of Famers. Despite it being a “drama-free” offseason period, there’s a buzz around the time and the excitement is palpable. As far as the 2022 season goes, the Raiders will have their share of valuable contributors. However, what about a “Most Valuable Player” designation on the team? My personal vote goes to Maxx Crosby.
Will Maxx Crosby be the most important Raiders player in 2022?
Crosby was originally a fourth-round pick in 2019, and you could see the energy and potential from Day 1. He dazzled from the outset of his rookie campaign. For example, in Week 5, he had his first career start. Then, by Week 10, Crosby had a four-sack game against the Cincinnati Bengals. It was a nice start, and if you fast forward to 2021, Crosby burst onto the national scene in Week 1 against the Baltimore Ravens. He accumulated two sacks, two tackles for a loss, and totaled five QB hits, per Pro Football Reference.
Crosby had helped lead the Raiders to the playoffs by the end of the season. Against the Bengals during the team’s playoff appearance, Crosby sacked Joe Burrow once, to go along with two tackles for a loss and three solo tackles. With new management in place for the Silver and Black, general manager Dave Ziegler made it a priority to retain No. 98, signing him to a four-year extension.
Celebrating his second year of sobriety, Crosby has become an unquestionable fan favorite and a locker room leader. In fact, Chandler Jones named him as one of the main reasons for wanting to come to the Raiders. Already one of the league’s best at consistently pressuring opposing quarterbacks, Crosby is primed for a special 2022 season. If Crosby manages to post double-digit sacks and maintain a presence in run defense, he’ll likely be the defensive MVP. In a scenario where that happens, there’s no reason to think he won’t end up being the most valuable contributor for the whole team and therefore live up to that contract.
*Top Photo: David Zalubowski/Associated Press