Michael Crabtree should be a poker player. Why? Crabtree has entered the next stage of contract holdouts. He is now telling the San Fransisco 49ers that he is prepared to sit out the 2009 season, if they don't give him the contract he wants.
Folks, I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.
So now, what do the 'Niners do? Do they call Crabtree's bluff, and risk losing the top WR prospect? Or do they fold to Crabtree's demands and blow a lot of cash and cap space on an unproven rookie?
I say call his bluff. The reward is greater than the risk. If they call it correctly, Crabtree will accept the contract he has been offered. If they don't, he goes somewhere else, or just sits out, and watches the NFL on his couch pondering about the opportunity he blew
Receivers are expendable, money isn't. Why blow so much money on someone who hasn't done anything to show he is deserving of the payment he wants? If they do spend the money, they're potentially hurting themselves.
Let's say he flops, for whatever reason, whether it's his foot injury or poor play. Now what? They just spent all that money, and completely massacred their salary cap. For what, a broken and worthless receiver?
If he puts out, good job, you took a gamble and won. But if it doesn't, don't go around complaining, because you put yourself in that position.
We all know Mike Singletary is a no-nonsense coach. I predict Singletary will call his bluff. And if he isn't bluffing, they look elsewhere. There are other options for receivers. Marvin Harrison, Matt Jones, and the 49ers could trade with the Broncos for Brandon Marshall, or with the Cardinals for Anquan Boldin.
All the other options have proved themselves to be worth the price. Something Crabtree hasn't. Don't fold to his demands, not only will it hurt you in the end, but it will open the door for rookies across the league to blackmail their team.