"With the tenth selection the 49ers select their first rookie hold out since Rashaun Woods"
According to Matt Maiocco's twitter, Michael Crabtree's agent, one Mr. Eugene Parker, doesn't believe in the "slotted" system of determining a draft pick's salary. This tacit agreement between agents and teams basically says that the #1 pick earns the most money in a given year. The number #2 pick earns less than the #1 but more than the #3. And so it goes. Or, apparently, so it went.
Last year at least four of Parker's clients missed some practice time due to ongoing contract negotiations. The pattern doesn't bode well for fans that want to see Crabtree on the practice field from day one.
Yes, agents and players have to be on the same page in order to really follow through on a holdout. The reality is, though, that when a rookie (who's head may be swimming with contracts, prorated bonuses, friends hitting him up for money, a rookie symposium on managing money, organized team activities, and rehabbing a foot injury) looks for guidance he looks to his agent. Especially one as good as well versed as Eugene Parker. Parker represented Deion Sanders, who reportedly helped sell Crabtree to the 49ers. Parker was also ranked the 18th most influential sports agent by Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal in 2008. Crabtree may not be the one driving in this game of million dollar chicken, even though Parker technically does the bidding of his employer - who just happens to be Michael Crabtree.
Taking this route will only do damage to Crabtree, who is already behind in his NFL development due to his injury. The 49ers would be okay with opening the season with Morgan, Bruce and Hill as the top three receivers. Yes, Crabtree may be more talented than all of them but unless he gets on the field this may be a wasted year for him. You have got to believe that with chief negotiator Paraag Marathe's track record of getting players to camp on time that this is more Parker's chicanery than an unwillingness by the 49ers to pay Crabtree.
If this ends up as some kind of protracted holdout it will confirm one thing for me. Terrell Owens left a curse on the wide receiver position before he left. That has to be it. There is just no other explanation. Well, that and 49er fans still like to blame T.O. for everything.