San Francisco 49ers: Michael Crabtree Under Fire, Is It Justified?

Steve ButlerCorrespondent ISeptember 11, 2010

ST. LOUIS - JANUARY 3: Michael Crabtree #15 of the San Francisco 49ers walks on the field during the game against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on January 3, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri.  The 49ers beat the Rams 28-6.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

We've all heard recently how the media is trying to ruffle the team's feathers, blowing the Crabtree-Davis confrontation out of proportion, labeling him a "diva", and progressively making him out to be the next Terrell Owens. I have one question... on the basis of what?

I'll be honest, I was excited we selected him, angry at both parties for the holdout, but by the time that the 2009 season was over, I was glad he was a 49er.

To start off his career in San Francisco, he missed an progressed into a 71 day holdout over a contract dispute. As the 10th overall selection in the 2009 NFL draft, His initial offer from the 49ers was one dollar less than the ninth overall selection, who was a defensive tackle. The stailmate eventually ended with both sides meeting in the middle on a top heavy contract worth almost 10 million more than the initial offer.

In 2009, Crabtree proved that he was right there with the best rookie receivers in the draft without needing an offseason to do it.

If anything, Crabtree has shown good judgement in the Vernon Davis incident. Davis initiated the debate. Crabtree and Davis settled it with mediation from Coach Singletary. Furthermore, Crabtree would not feed the media dogs a bone to turn this situation into something to be blown out of proportion. Does that remind anyone of Terrell Owens? I sure hope not. Owens went looking for the media.


Then there's the debate of missing the preseason. The team stands behind the fact that he had a neck sprain and was being held out as a safety measure. Crabtree's statistics from last year's 11 games extrapolated to a 16 game season would yield 70 catches, 909 yards, and 3 TD. That's almost as many catches and yards as breakout TE Vernon Davis had last year. With that in mind, is it worth banging this guy up and risking having him not there to start the season?


Injury aside, I think there was a reason that Alex Smith was not held out of the preseason, and Crabtree, Davis, and Gore were. I think Singletary was trying to make the play of the quarterback count more to show Smith how much the team's success relied on him getting done what he needed to do.

Mike Singletary is known for being open an honest. Maybe his opinion can shed some light on the subject. Singletary was quoted here, and for judgement purposes, this was after the spat with Davis.

"He's really misconstrued, because when you look at him, you think he's a diva, as they were saying last year," Singletary said. "He's the furthest thing from it. He likes to dress nice, he likes nice things, but you're not going to find him clubbing or things like that, that's just not him. He's a good kid that really wants to keep his life as private as possible."

Is it fair to label a guy based on the actions of a former player who happened to play for the same team? Is it fair to assume that he would use bad judgement when he hasn't shown a history of doing it? Fact of the matter is, today he is worth the money he got, and anything to indicate tomorrow he won't be is only speculation at this point. Let the man play football.