The new face of the Las Vegas Raiders is here to stay. On March 11, DE Maxx Crosby signed a contract extension tying him to the Silver and Black through the 2026 season. Crosby’s contract is good for four-years and a whopping $98.98 million for number 98.
Crosby has emerged as one of the NFL’s best pass rushers, making both the Pro Bowl and Second-Team All-Pro team in 2021. His on-field statistics are topped only by his off-the-field endeavors, serving as a mentor and leader for those in the Las Vegas community.
On the two-year anniversary of his sobriety, new head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler showed Crosby how important he is to the Raiders organization, but it wasn’t always this easy for the young superstar.
2019: Mad Maxx’s Rookie Season
Crosby was a part of the infamous rookie class of 2019. These disruptive rookies have evolved into record-breaking wide receiver Hunter Renfrow, First-Team All-Pro punter A.J. Cole, DPOY Candidate Maxx Crosby, and other key players in Las Vegas.
The offense and special teams each had their own rookie superstars, but the defense had Crosby. From the beginning, Crosby showed there was something relentless about him. His rookie season ended with 10 sacks, including a four-sack performance against the Cincinnati Bengals. He also had four forced fumbles and one strong defensive rookie of the year campaign.
In Crosby’s rookie season, the Raiders ended 7-9 with one of the lowest-ranked defenses in the league. They didn’t have much going for them, but they knew what they had in Crosby.
2020: Middle Ground
The offseason between Crosby’s first and second seasons was an offseason not easily forgotten. On March 11, 2020, Crosby checked himself into rehabilitation for alcoholism. The remainder of the offseason would be spent in inpatient treatment centers and AA meetings. Remarkably, Crosby was able to overcome his addiction and get his life back.
His sophomore season wasn’t as statistically impressive. He ended with seven sacks, 39 combined tackles, and one fumble recovery. Even though he didn’t draw all eyes on himself, Crosby was a solid piece in a floundering defense.
The Raiders finished 8-8 in 2020, but a saving grace was on the way. Las Vegas fired defensive coordinator Paul Guenther during the 2020 season, meaning an upgrade and new coaches were on the way to maximize Crosby’s potential.
2021: The Emergence of a Superstar
Crosby showed flashes of tremendous potential during his first two seasons, but 2021 was when all that stored-potential showed itself on the field. New defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and defensive line coach Rod Marinelli brought a new fire to the Las Vegas defense, and Crosby was the highlight.
Crosby ended the 2021 season with eight sacks, 30 QB Hits, and 100 QB pressures per Pro Football Reference. Crosby’s accolades included multiple AFC Defensive Player of the Week awards, a Pro Bowl selection, and a Second-Team All-Pro designation.
His statistics were matched by his leadership skills, as Crosby was named one of the Raiders’ captains in 2021. It was under his guidance that the Silver and Black returned to the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
The number of teammates, coaches, and others that shine endless praise on Crosby is countless, but somehow, it’s still not enough. He is said to have a motor that never stops, heading to the facility at 6:30 am every morning, even during the offseason.
His relentless work ethic and ability to change the game earned him the first contract extension of the 2019 draft class. Maxx Crosby was congratulated by people throughout the NFL for his extension, including Pro Bowl teammates and NFL players.
Crosby himself also took to Twitter to share his gratitude on a day he is sure to never forget.
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