The Crabtree Conundrum

Erik BartlettContributor ISeptember 17, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 15:  NFL player Michael Crabtree arrives at the 2009 ESPY Awards held at Nokia Theatre LA Live on July 15, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. The 17th annual ESPYs will air on Sunday, July 19 at 9PM ET on ESPN.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images for ESPY)

I know, I know. Another day, another article on how now 22-year-old Michael Crabtree needs to come to his senses and report to the San Francisco 49ers. There's been a lot of assumptions over the last few months of why Crabtree remains unsigned, but there is one thing we can safely conclude at this point. He defiantly didn't take a course in Economics at Texas Tech.

Now, I'm not here to slam Mr. Crabtree, but I'm here to point a few things out to him, and to talk 49ers fans off of the ledge and into the sports bar. Let's not talk about dollars and cents, or the hypothetical "maybe he just doesn't want to play for the 49ers" argument. Instead, lets talk facts.

We're sitting here today in a rough economic climate. In this day and age, all of us are going to have to cut back on expenses and take what we can get in this market. I'm sure some of you right now who are reading this are between jobs, and it makes you cringe when you hear someone who's so young turn down a reported $16 million guaranteed to play football. But you know something? He has every right to make that choice.

While most of us with a brain would immediately take that kind of money, Crabtree is sitting in a fantasy land. Call this one man's assumption, but I believe that he is so far out of the loop in the negotiations, whether he sits out the season or joins the team, he will claim the Sgt. Schultz "I know nothiiiiiiinnnng" card. Undoubtedly, he will say that he loves the sport and he wants to contribute to the team in any way that he possibly can.

So until that point? We sit here and wait. 49er fans are continuously refreshing their web browsers to hear the latest news on the situation. A recent thread on the popular message board was over 300 pages long before a new one had to be created in regards to the situation. At this point, fans are getting riled up over the "he said, she-said" of the whole thing, without any real circumstantial evidence really going on.

So here's some advice, Niners fans. Chiiiilllllll.

Your team just beat the defending NFC champions in their own house despite a horrendous 30 yard rushing effort on the ground. What does that mean? Not much, since we're now only entering Week Two, but it provides hope. I mean, hey, they won without Crabtree. While Shaun Hill, out of nowhere, led the team on an amazing 15 play game winning drive, Crabtree was sitting on the couch like the rest of us, probably having a beer and eating pizza. Is he getting nervous? I doubt it, if he was willing to sit out this long, why would he be rushing into sign the same deal now? Eugene Parker, Crabtree's agent, isn't going to rush to the negotiation table face to face with the 49ers brass anytime soon.

So while Jed York and the 49ers front office puts the heat on Crabtree, focus your attention on the team. For the first time in seven years, they have a real, meaningful game on Sunday, with the Seahawks coming to Candlestick for NFC West supremacy. So here's my advice to the faithful: Grab a cold beer, eat some good food, cheer loud and proud for your team, and if you can, buy a ridiculously overpriced ticket and pay for ridiculously overpriced parking and make it to the game.

Because one ridiculously overpriced draft pick will undoubtedly be doing the same—while feverishly checking over his fantasy football team, of course.