If Michael Crabtree wasn't a diva before, he's being made into one right before our eyes.
The AP released an article yesterday saying that the entire NFL is waiting for Crabtree to sign before inking the remaining rookie selections. This rumor originated from an uncited source in Denver, which has two first-round picks and is undoubtedly unhappy that they haven't signed yet.
Make no mistake about it: NFL owners and agents are very frustrated right now, but it has nothing to do with Crabtree. Contending with an expiring salary cap and a down economy, owners are very wary of commiting large sums of money. Agents are frustrated because they can't squeeze fat contracts as easily as they have in the past, and they are looking for a scapegoat.
First, reports that Crabtree is seeking "top 5" compensation are purely rumor at this point. Second, even if it's true—even if Crabtree is the biggest "diva" in the history of the league—how does that have anything to do with the rest of the draft class?
Answer: It doesn't. Not for a second. Not in the least.
Look at all of the holdouts in draft history and consider how they ruined any other team's ability to sign players.
Patrick Willis held out for two weeks: Is he a diva? Did he ruin the NFL season?
Jamarcus Russell held out into the regular season. Did everyone else fail to sign?
Mike Singletary held out for a week as a rookie. How did that ruin anything for anyone else?
It sucks that rookies are going to have a tough time this year. Blaming Crabtree is a completely illogical cop-out.
Top 10 picks are slotted so that there can be no confusion. If Crabtree's people think they can get a better deal, the rest of the league should be laughing at the presumed impasse and focus on their own problems.
Of course, it's easier to point a finger and call someone names, than it is to actually do your job...