The story begins on Apr. 21, 2009. The Oakland Raiders are selecting seventh overall in the first round. Desperately in need of a wide receiver, everyone and their brother who had a big board assumed that Crabtree was the consensus pick at that spot.
Instead, Al Davis went with yet another 40-yard wonder by the name of Darrius Heyward-Bey in lieu of Crabtree failing to clock a time on the heralded dash. Crabtree was picked three spots later by the San Francisco 49ers, and so began a saga of drama.
Feeling he was more talented than the receiver taken before him, Crabtree felt he should be paid like the pick he should have been. The 49ers saw things differently; they felt that he very well may have been a top-five talent, but they had the privilege of selecting him later than that, and therefore wanted to pay him like the pick he actually was.
Crabtree, having never done anything on an NFL field, already felt he had the right to get paid more than someone who was taken before him. With that kind of elitist attitude, it’s easy to wonder which of the 32 teams would actually take a chance on him had he actually gone through with his re-entry into the 2010 NFL Draft?
My question is: how long will he last under Mike Singletary? The NFL legend coaches with the same hard-working, selfless mindset that helped him find a place in Canton, OH.
In any case, it doesn’t seem as though Crabtree fits that mold. Hopefully for everyone in the 49ers' organization, his concern with off-field matters, including money and his image, won’t get in the way of him becoming the gritty, grind-it-out contender Singletary has asked his players to be.
The Daily WTF goes to…
Eugene Parker, for allowing this to go on as long as it did.
At any time in the process, Parker could have stepped in and, for the betterment of his client’s career, told him to sign the contract and get on the field to start earning more money for a possible re-negotiation down the road.
What a novel concept: a rookie actually earning the money that is being given to them? None other than Clinton Portis would know of that, who was drafted in the second round and used himself as a battering ram into a bigger contract.
Crabtree was essentially Parker’s pawn for testing forbidden waters. Parker was trying to violate an unwritten rule on the draft order and how it determines contracts.
Had Parker been able to pull this off, he would have been a king
Instead, he’s just a nail, and MC Hammer is…well, the hammer that struck the deal.
We don’t really know who was pulling the strings in terms of why this deal took so long to get made. Was Parker out to make a name for himself as one of the greatest agents ever? Or was Crabtree really that conceited about his own value?
That’s why it’s hard to dole out only one WTF today. Either Crabtree or Parker could have ended the holdout at any point by simply thinking about the long-term effect this could have on Crabtree’s career (as first-round holdouts have historically struggled).
The holdout didn’t have a single positive outcome for Crabtree. After missing all of training camp as well as the first four weeks of the season, it will take a lot of hard work to get Crabtree up to speed.
Furthermore, he ended up signing a contract that probably looks almost identical to the one that was presented to him after the draft. Now, all he has to show for it is a lot of rust.
I’m sure Crabtree hopes to land in Canton, just like his coach, at some point. Letting his play do the talking instead of his agent will help in that matter.
WTF, Parker and Crabtree?