Michael Crabtree was signed by the 49ers. The news that Michael Crabtree has signed will make 49ers fans happy, but at the same time it could become a bigger issue if Crabtree doesn’t perform. The San Francisco 49ers drafted Michael Crabtree with their first round pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, making him the second receiver taken in the draft. He didn’t end up signing with them right away, opting to hold out for more money rather than join his team. It seems that it may have worked for him in the end, and this could end up causing a rift in the locker room. Hopefully his new teammates can forgive him for putting them second in all these negotiations.
The reports out of San Francisco are that the new contract with Michael Crabtree will be for six years. The cash value of the contract has not been released at this point, but it allows him to get out of the contract after five seasons if he reaches specific goals in his career. This signing makes Michael Crabtree the last player from the 2009 NFL Draft to sign with a team, and finally completes the extended negotiations that Crabtree and the 49ers had been struggling with. It’s hard to call them negotiations though, because San Francisco had one price in mind for Crabtree, and he had a specific amount in mind that he felt he was worth.
The reason that it was reported that Michael Crabtree held out for so long, was that he wanted to be paid like he was one of the top five draft picks taken this year. He felt that he was the best wide receiver in the draft, but his stock fell to #10 on draft day due to an injury that he had suffered. San Francisco wanted to give him slot pay that was equivalent to where he was drafted, and he balked at that idea. It really made him seem like a spoiled player that was just being greedy, and I can’t even begin to guess how many names he was called behind the scenes by other players on the San Francisco 49ers. He will certainly have a lot of work to do right away in order to win back their respect.
The one thing really working for Michael Crabtree right now is how short memories can be for sports fans. Once a player is finally signed, if he starts performing, the fans suddenly forget what he put them through originally. If he doesn’t perform though, there are going to be big issues between him and his teammates, and surely the press will go after him as well. He certainly appears to have the talent after he played so amazingly well at Texas Tech in college, and it will be interesting to see just how good he can become in the NFL. The 22-year-old has the skills, but now he has to prove that he is worth all of the money that the San Francisco 49ers just gave him.
Source: ESPN: “Crabtree, 49ers Finally Agree to Deal”