Goodell Say No Tampering! How Can This Be?

Brian BrandoliniContributor ISeptember 9, 2009

NEW YORK - APRIL 25:  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell poses with with San Francisco 49ers #10 draft pick Michael Crabtree at Radio City Music Hall for the 2009 NFL Draft on April 25, 2009 in New York City  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

In a recent interview on NFL networks "Total Access", Deion Sanders speaks about the holdout situation in San Francisco regarding Michael Crabtree. If you haven't seen the video footage CLICK HERE.

At first it appears to be an infomercial for his friend and former agent Eugen Parker. Really kind of sickening with that used car salesman smile he has going on...sorry I believe its called a "preowned vehicle" these days.

Then he goes on to explain about "Real Money" in the contracts. While saying this stuff they are showing what the top 10 players are making. Now I am just a lowly fan of football so in my understanding the only "Real Money" is the gauranteed money. He says that Sanchez is getting more "Real Money" than Curry. Curry signed a 6 year deal while Sanchez signed a 5 year deal. Curry has 34 mil gauranteeddollars in his contract, and Sanchez has 28 mil. As far as I know if both these players suffered career ending injuries this season than Curry actually receives more "Real Money" than Sanchez.

DerriusHeywood-Bey at the #7 signed a contract with more gauranteedmoney than Andre Smith got at th e#6 spot. While DHBsigned a 5 year deal Smith signed a 4 year deal. As of right now the gauranteed money has DHBat 23.5 mil while Smithis at 21 mil. After the 2010 season the Bengals can use an option in the contract that would make Smiths 4 year contract into a 6 year contract that would escalate his contract to 42 mil over 6 years with 29.5 mil in gauranteed money. So all he has to do is perform as expected and his gauranteed money or "Real Money" will be more than what DHB receives from his deal. Which in a lot of ways is how things are suppose to work. You get paid for your performance.

Now although the average Joe has a hard time relating to people scoffing at millions of dollars it is easy to see how these salaries are getting out of hand. A rookie wage scale is definitely the way to go, but until then these are the numbers we deal with in the slotting system. And according to the reports of what the Niners offered Crabtree he falls right in line with where he was picked.

So what has been the issue with getting Crabtree to sign a contract? Is it the money he feels he should get because of his accomplishments in college? He thought he should get picked higher so he feels he deserves more money? Playersdeal with that scenario every single draft. Playersdrop costing them millions of dollars. There only recourse is getting out there and showing what they can do so they can get what they felt they deserved to start with. So what is keeping Michael Crabtree sitting at home doing absolutely nothing to make himself a better player in the NFL?

Well according to Deion Sanders, Michael Crabtreeis AWARE of 2 teams that wanted to make a trade to the NinersAND pay him what he thinks he is worth. Somewhere in the vicinity of 40 mil. The 49erscame back and said that they have never had those discussions withany team. So if the Niners don't know anything about those discussions how in the name of all that is holy can Crabtree be aware of any of this? There is one very simple answer...Tampering.

Now there are sources stating that Crabtree was contacted by teams saying they would take him in the first round next year. How can Crabtree know a team will take him in the first round next year? Once again...Tampering.

Now in a case such as this where tampering is so blatantly obvious why hasn't the commissioner stepped in and started any kind of investigation? Some people have said that it is up to the team to do the investigation and present it to the NFL. Personally I think the investigation has already been done and Deion needs to answer for the allegations he made on the NFL's network.

The commissioner had a chat yesterday and I submitted a few questions regarding the situation. Of course they were too blunt for him to actually have answered so with the moderators handpicking these generic questions so it would appear as if the commishwas getting into any kind of discussion with real football fans here is what he had to say.

Ryan, San Jose, CA
02:38 PM ET
Regarding the whole Deion Sanders/Michael Crabtree fiasco - The 49ers say they haven't been contacted by any teams regarding Crabtree, but Deion says he knows of two teams who would for sure give Crabtree $40 million. Who are these two teams and why are they making offers to a player, his agent or representatives directly when the 49ersare the only ones who can negotiate with him?

Commissioner Roger Goodell,
This is not tampering, but it may be a conflict of interest. It is not permissible for other teams to get involved or express an interest in signing Michael Crabtree. This negotiation should be between the player and the 49ers and hopefully they will find a resolution so Michael can begin his NFL career as soon as possible.

WTF? For one he didn't even attempt to answer the question. But to say it isn't tampering. Has this guy even seen the rule book lately? I thought this was the commishthat was going to clamp down on immoral behavior in the NFL. I mean he took a hard nose approach withStallworth, yet went fairly easy on Vick. (Now thats not what this discussion is about so leave that statement alone for now. We can discuss that another time if you like.)

Here is what the rulebook states as tampering:

"Out of our anti-tampering policy, the term tampering as used within the NFL refersto any interference by a member club with the employer/employee relationship of another club or any attempt by a club to impermissiblyinduce the person to seek employment withthat club or with the NFL."

Maybe my reading comprehension is a little off but I believe if a team lets someone know they would pay them more than the current team is offering when only 1 team has the rights to that player or if someone was to say we will take you in the first round next year if you wait, probably falls into this NFL definition of tampering.

As soon as those words came out of Deions smug preownedvehicle selling mouth the commissioner should have been on the phone. Tampering is an issue he has claimed to want to clean up. It doesn't get more obvious to even a legaleze illiterate such as myself that if Crabtree doesn't sign by week 1 there needs to be a serious look into what has transpired in the NFL this season.

This is the same commissioner that just 2 years ago busted the 49ersfor tampering with Lance Briggs. The 49ers had to forfeit a 5th round pick and swap 3rd rounders with the Bears. The 49ersdidn't agree with the decision. Could this be the reason the judge, juror, and excecutioner could care less about what is going on in San Francisco? .