Why the Michael Crabtree Situation Is Worse Than the Jay Cutler Saga

Lars HansonCorrespondent ISeptember 14, 2009

NEW YORK - APRIL 21:  Football player Michael Crabtree poses for a portrait on April 21, 2009 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images for Subway)

With the 10th pick in the 2009 NFL draft, the San Francisco 49ers selected Texas Tech WR Michael Crabtree.

Since then, it's been a nightmare for San Francisco, the 49ers, Crabtree, and 49ers fans.

Coming into the 2009 NFL draft, Crabtree had been rumored to be targeted by St. Louis, Kansas City, Seattle, Cleveland, Jacksonville, and many more teams.

As the draft drew closer and closer, more and more teams looked into Crabtree's eyes, saw a black hole, and said: Thanks, but no thanks.

On draft day Crabtree waited past the fourth overall pick (Seattle Seahawks), the fifth overall pick, which wound up being traded, and the seventh overall pick (Jacksonville Jags)—and finally it came to the San Francisco 49ers and the 10th pick.

At the time it seemed like a steal. Crabtree, a top five talent, falling all the way down to 10?

But the San Francisco 49ers saw a great opportunity to give some talent to whoever would be the starting QB.

Before the draft took place, reports surfaced of Crabtree being a "diva" and the next Chad Ochocinco.

As it turns out, six months later, Michael Crabtree hasn’t become the new Chad Ochocinco, but has taken over for the old Ochocinco.

Now, Chad Ochocinco is a team player. He showed up to all the OTAs and training camps with his shoes tied and ready to participate.

At one point he even wanted to move in with QB Carson Palmer to create a "bond."

At the same time this was happening in Cincy, a rookie wide receiver named Michael Crabtree was holding out for contract reasons.

As time dragged on, numerous reports came out that Crabtree would be willing to sit out the entire 2009-2010 season without a contract, re-enter the NFL draft in 2010, and hope to be picked higher and get his big contract.

What has unfolded since Crabtree was drafted in April is reminiscent of another saga over the offseason: the Jay Cutler-Josh McDaniels saga, which pales in comparison to that of Michael Crabtree.

Cutler didn't like the fact that Mike Shanahan was fired and replaced by the second youngest coach in the NFL.

From the get-go Cutler essentially wanted out of Denver. He eventually got his wish and is now likely to pay for it.

Cutler just wanted out. Crabtree wants to be pampered without having suited up for an NFL game.

His stats at Texas Tech were completely inflated by the system down at Texas Tech. If the draft and the way players were paid was based on that system, then every QB would want to play at Texas Tech, get 40-plus TDs, and get a "JaMarcus Russell"-type contract when they are just an average player who needs to learn a lot.

Though Crabtree fell to 10th overall, he still feels like he should get a top five pick salary.

The players picked in front of him didn’t help much, as contracts went from $40m down to $20m, completely skipping $30m.

For those who didn’t see Madden 2010, Crabtree is listed at $25m for five years, which even for Madden is unrealistic.

The fact that Crabtree has said he will hold out until the 2010 NFL draft and get paid higher makes zero sense.

The San Francisco 49ers hold his rights up until midnight of the 2010 NFL draft. That means he can't run the 40 or work out for any teams other than the 49ers, which would completely hurt his stock even more.

If an NFL team wanted to draft him, his bio would read:

1) Outstanding WR in college at Texas Tech.

2) Drafted 10th overall in the 2009 draft but did not sign because of $$$.

3) Diva personality.

4) Hasn't played in an football game in two years.

Any GM or HC with a pick in the top 15 overall would pass on Crabtree looking at that bio.

He could could do the same thing all over again. Or he could sign and retire.

Now interest was confirmed that other teams wanted to trade for Michael Crabtree's rights three months back. That date has since passed, so it's sign and play or hold out and be an idiot.

I honestly think he will hold out, wait until next year, and be picked around 15-20 overall.

Then again, if the 49ers are doing well by week eight and beyond, maybe he would rethink it and sign.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.