It was reported today that All-America Wide Reciever Michael Crabtree, who was the 10th overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft by the San Fransisco 49ers is willing to sit out the ENTIRE season and re-enter his name into the 2010 draft pool if his contract demands are not met. His adviser/cousin claims that he is just looking for fair market value and that he was offered less then the $37 Million that 7th overall pick Derrius Heyward-Bey signed for. Any conventional football fan would know that Crabtree is better than Heyward-Bey but the draft board does not lie. Crabtree was a lock to go as a Top 5 pick in the draft, had he not suffered a stress fracture in his left foot in a game while playing for Texas Tech. But he did suffer a stress fracture and he slipped in the draft because of it.
No one is doubting Michael Crabtree’s ability. His skills were on full display every Sunday for the high powered Red Raider offense. What he is trying to pull in The City by the Bay is just downright offensive. Over the past 5 years NFL rookie contracts have risen to an astounding and absurd level for players that have never proven themselves on a single down in the league. It can be argued that these players need to get the money upfront, while they can, before having 16 game schedule take a toll on their bodies, in a league with no guaranteed contracts. No one can fault a player, rookie or veteran, who is looking to get their deserved payday after proving themselves on different levels. On that same token, no player could blame a franchise for being wary about giving up extra millions of dollars to a player that has a red flag raised on their health report.
Michael Crabtree has been given a clean bill of health but was asked not to participate in OTA’s this spring because of his injury. This did not stop Crabtree from being a fixture at the 49ers rehab center this offseason to make sure that he is 100% ready for the season both physically and mentally. Now it seems as though the only thing that may stop Crabtree from getting on the field and potentially from ever donning a 49ers uniform is the money. Whether the threats of the pass catcher to sit out the 2009 campaign come to fruition or not remains to be seen, but what has now been seen is Michael Crabtree in a sour light, like many Wide Receivers before him. The thought of a rookie trying to call the shots and damage the collective karma of the Niners must be especially displeasing to the 49ers no nonsense, defensive minded Head Coach Mike Singletary. Just remember back to last season when Coach Singletary chewed out top 10 draft pick TE Vernon Davis and sent him back to the locker room for lack of hustle. Crabtree cannot be endearing himself to the former NFL ballhawk who used to make a living tabooing receivers like Crabtree for a living. I’m sure that news of his rookie star wanting to choose dollars over football sense makes him want to throw on a helmet and hit the gridiron to teach the NFL novice a thing or two about respecting the game.
The stage was so perfectly set for Michael Crabtree to come in and make an immediate impact on one of the leagues most celebrated franchise. The fans of the 49ers were jumping for joy when he fell to them at #10, evoking memories of Jerry Rice and to a degree, Terrell Owens. This was going to be a special bond right out of the gate, with Crabtree playing with a chip on his shoulder, sticking it to all the teams that passed over picking him. Alas, now his image is forever tarnished before he is even able to catch a pigskin in an NFL game. For his sake, I hope he doesn’t sit out the entire season and turn an entire city against him. His talent should not be overshadowed by contract disputes, especially before he takes his first snap, but we may be heading towards a disaster by the bay.
Be well my junkie monkeys,