Step down from the ledge already, 49er fan. The teams' 2009 1st-round draft pick, Michael Crabtree, isn't going anywhere.
But, that's the problem.
Various media reports and internet chatter have cited Crabtree and his agent, Eugene Parker as saying that the former Texas Tech product will hold out from signing his rookie contract as long as possible to get the deal he wants, even if that means re-entering the draft in 2010. If that is indeed the case, then fans be ready to see Crabtree hit the practice field in Santa Clara real soon.
If it is money that Crabtree is truly after, he will sign on the dotted line sooner rather than later. The consensus around the league is, that Crabtree's negotiations with the 49ers are the benchmark for the rest of the draft picks still waiting to be signed, that were picked in the same vicinity of the #10 overall pick. If Crabtree continues to wait, and other picks start reporting to training camps across the National Football League, Crabtree will have less and less wiggle room to come up with his own dollar amount. The number of zeros in guaranteed money will be more commensurate with the players selected just before and after him, instead of his deal being the measuring stick.
That is, if he and Parker decide they want to begin their NFL venture together in the 2009 season.
One would think that Parker would be fired if that is the final result. Crabtree would be lucky at best to be drafted in the top 10 again based on character concerns alone, forcing him to lose any money that he hopes to obtain currerntly with the 49ers. This would also result in any future player represented by Parker to be heavily scrutinized, with teams wondering what may happen in selecting another one of his clients.
Yet one forgotten factor in this whole equation has been the team that plans on writing Crabtree his checks. Neither side has budged in regards to contract talks, leaving many wondering why the stalemate is occuring - specifically from the 49ers' standpoint.
It's because the team doesn't need him.
The team is content with the players that have been showing up to practices since last Saturday. Second-year pro Josh Morgan is looking more and more like a top-flight wide receiver every day, with veteran Isaac Bruce and former Tennessee Titan Brandon Jones stating their claims to the second and third spots on the depth chart, respectively.
So if Crabtree - the player who once was brought to tears after being told he can't practice - wants to get on the field, he'll do it. After all, it is Parker who is being employed by Crabtree. Most of the blame has been aimed at Parker in the matter, with many forgetting who really calls the shots - the players themselves.
You want your money Michael? Go get it already.