WR Michael Crabtree is finally ready to sign with the SF 49ers, and now we will see if the future NFL Diva Receiver can shake off the rust to help a team that only has one touchdown catch by their receiving corps
There will not be a rookie season holdout for soon-to-be San Francisco 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree. The aspiring NFL receiver and perceived diva will end his over two-month contract holdout when he signs with the Niners today.
Reportedly, the Niners will give the unsigned first-rounder (10th overall) a six-year deal with the terms undisclosed. All indications are that deal is somewhere around the 5-year, $20M contract the 49ers had been offering since training camp and that the sixth year is voidable.
Crabtree will probably make somewhere around $1.8 million in 2009, which was the amount that the Niners had left in their rookie salary pool.
But don’t forget that Crabtree has already forfeited four game checks in the 2009 season.
Crabtree’s signing ends the NFL’s closest situation to former running back Bo Jackson’s season-long holdout in 1986. It was known that Crabtree had flown to the Bay Area on Monday to help in negotiations with Niners general manager Scot McCloughan.
However, you never really knew if Crabtree and his gaggle of advisers, including his agent (Eugene Parker), former NFL great Deion Sanders, and his bail bondsman relative David Wells, would allow the deal to go through (deadline was Nov. 17, the last day to sign rookies before they were put back into the 2010 NFL Draft).
Crabtree and his crew had talked tough, asking for more than the amount that the Raiders overpaid for their first rounder Darrius Heyward-Bey—the seventh overall pick got five years, $38.25M real/$54M max; $23.5M guaranteed.
But in the end, Crabtree needed the Niners (3-1) more than they needed him. Niners no-nonsense head coach Mike Singletary made it abundantly clear that the team would go on with or without the former Texas Tech star.
So with Crabtree back in the Niners fold, they clearly may have added another impact player to the NFC West’s leading team. The Niners current leading pass catcher is emerging TE Vernon Davis (17 catches for 211 yards, 12.4 ypc, and 3 TDs).
Crabtree probably would have been a Top 5 pick, if not for a late-season foot injury that lingered into the draft process.
Before the 2009 NFL Draft, some considered Crabtree to be the next Larry Fitzgerald after only two years at Texas Tech, where he was a man amongst boys, producing 231 receptions for 3,127 yards, and 41 touchdowns.
One scout I talked to prior to the draft, raved about Crabtree’s ability to start-and-stop in routes, superior hand-eye coordination, good body control and an aggressive run-after-catch skills.
Now the next player vying for the NFL’s “Diva Receiver Crown” will need to win over the Niners’ lockerroom and Singletary, who is known for his “Can’t use him” mentality.
Already in post draft mini-camps, Singletary got on Crabtree in practices, so it will be fun to see how long it takes for him to adjust to the NFL game.
Crabtree, after signing, is expected to be placed on the roster exemption list for one to two weeks as he rounds himself into football shape.
Lloyd Vance is a Sr. NFL Writer for Taking It to the House and an award winning member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA)Posted in Michael Crabtree, NFL Holdouts, San Francisco 49ers Tagged: Crabtree Ends Holdout, Deion Sanders, Football, Michael Crabtree, Mike Singletary, NFL, NFL Holdouts, San Francisco 49ers, Sports, Vernon Davis