How Rookie Michael Crabtree is Ruining the 2009 Season For the Entire NFL

Bob Cunningham@BCunningham215Senior Analyst IJuly 29, 2009

Meet Michael Crabtree.

Heading into the 2009 NFL Draft, this kid was almost a lock to be selected top five. He was electric during his years at Texas Tech and showed that he had natural ability few could hope to match.

However, only weeks before the draft, teams came out saying that Crabtree had a "diva-like" attitude. He was acting like a spoiled rich kid before actually becoming a spoiled rich kid, which is never a good sign.

The kid has an ego bigger than the entire state of California, so it's fitting that he eventually fell to the San Francisco 49ers at the 10th slot in the most recent draft.

Allow me to digress for a second.

For those of you who don't know, the payment of rookies is really quite simple. The higher the pick, the more zeroes. The No. 1 pick gets the most, the 32nd pick gets the least. The No. 15 guy gets paid more than the No. 16 guy, who gets paid more than the No. 17 guy, and so on.

That is, of course, except quarterbacks, who are a different story entirely.

The contracts of the rookies in the first round usually begin to fall into place once the top 10 is sorted out. From there, teams can gauge what their selection should be paid based on the guy in front of him.

Now back to Crabtree.

Michael Crabtree has apparently brought his "diva-like" attitude all the way to the negotiating table.

According to reports, Crabtree wants to be paid like a top five selection, when he was only the 10th man taken. He is arguing, along with his agent, that he is a top five talent. They're basically saying that the 49ers were lucky to get him at 10 and should pay him like the top five talent he is.

The 49ers are saying, you're right, we were lucky to get you at the 10th spot. We're also lucky enough to get to pay you like the 10th selection that you were. If any of the other nine teams saw fit to pick you, they would have. The bottom line is that you hurt your stock by being a "diva," which worked out for us because here you are.

Who does this kid think he is demanding that he be paid like a top five selection? He has not played a single down in the NFL, yet he's demanding that the entire system be changed simply because he doesn't like where he got drafted?

This brings up memories of Reggie Bush petitioning the NFL to be able to wear the number five like he did in college (in the NFL, running backs can only wear numbers 20-49). We've all seen how mediocre his career has been to date. His biggest headline was his split with Kim Kardashian.

You're in the NFL, son. This is big boy country.

You can't go into a league with the rich history that the NFL has and expect that you're going to change the system simply because you think you're special. You've got more important things to worry about.

For instance, you need to worry about what it's going to feel like the first time Adrian Wilson, Antrel Rolle, O.J. Atogwe, or Lofa Tatupu put a shoulder into your mouth because you came across the middle.

I can assure you, they won't care that you're Michael Crabtree. In fact, no one does.

So swallow the red pill, see how far the rabbit hole goes, and face reality. Until you do something in the NFL, you are nothing.

Sign whatever deal they offer that is fair for the 10th overall selection and move on with your career. Other rookies are suffering because they can't get their deals done, and why? Because you can't face the fact that you're the 10th selection.

It's an honor to be in the NFL, whether you're the first pick or an undrafted rookie. Honor the great ones who have come before and the great ones who will come after you. Humble yourself and realize that if you have a Hall of Fame career, you still might not be the best receiver that the San Francisco Bay has seen.

Perhaps not even second-best, for that matter.

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