Michael Crabtree is the wide receiver from Texas Tech that made the highly publicized late game catch that beat the University of Texas. Clearly he is a talented young man with the potential of being a great pro football star.
Many of the pre-draft predictions were that he would be the first wide receiver to be selected in the 2009 draft. Imagine the delight of the San Francisco 49ers when Oakland bypassed Crabtree in favor of Darrius Heywood-Bey of Maryland. The 49ers grabbed Crabtree in the blink of an eye.
Ok, so far, so good. Unfortunately then things got a little sticky. You see the NFL tends to pay its rookie draft picks based upon the order they’re drafted. This means that normally Heywood-Bey, drafted first, would get more money in year one than Crabtree. But Michael is having none of that. He’s insisting that the Raiders made a mistake; that he’s the better receiver and he should be paid as if he had been drafted first like all the pre-game hype predicted. He’s even said he’s prepared to sit out the 2009 season and re-enter the draft next year if he doesn't get what he thinks he deserves.
The 49ers are trying to figure out how their dream pick turned into a nightmare.
If he’s really serious about sitting out 2009, and it’s not just a negotiating ploy, he’s getting some very bad advice. A year of inactivity would significantly reduce his perceived value and there is no way he would go in the first round next year. I’m betting Crabtree plays as a 49er this year. Either that or they can trade him to the Giants. I’m sure Eli would be willing to make up the difference from his $97 million windfall.