Originally posted by jimbagg:
The stakes are about to get serious for Crabtree. To this point, holding out has cost him nothing (except skipping Singletary's brutal TC). But beginning Sunday, September 13, he loses 1/17th of his potential 2009 salary. That's a big number. He can't replace those dollars with a comparable job.
I expect him to sign within the next 72 hours. All this bull from Deion Sanders, etc is a last gasp negotiating strategy. Time favors the Niners and seriously hurts Crabtree. McCloughan, Crabtree and Eugene Parker all know this.
The Niners are handling this perfectly. No negative comments directed toward Crabtree. I foresee a 2-part response by the club. First, sign Crabtree. Second, and ONLY after Crabtree is signed, the club will be ruthless in going after some draft pick compensation for the obvious tampering. But that is being kept under wraps for now, in order to maintain a positive environment for Crabtree to sign.
If Crabtree's holdout continues into the regular season, through Week 3 or so, it becomes more likely that the Niners would find a "pre-existing physical issue", so that they could PUP him through Week 6, then drop a player to add him to the 53-man roster. Crabtree could then have time to learn the playbook and be a productive contributor to the 53-man roster.
Oh, my friend, you are seeing things under one lens. I think Crabtree has the Niners equally in a bad spot. If Sanders is being truthful, and nobody seems to be claiming he is not, then the news that teams were willing to pay Crabtree a mega salary only undercuts the Niners' position.
The Niners are the ones in trouble, if this deal does not go down over the next few days. Crabtree seems like a proud guy, and he could use all of the negative press as a motivational tool to be ready for next year's draft, or sign off on a trade and mega salary deal before the draft.
The Niners have a mediocre WR group, and losing a top college talent like Crabtree would be a big blow to the organization, even if it meant saving face, and money. Saving face doesn't win games. And, their money hasn't produced a winning team.
I will say that I believe the league will secretly become involved in the contract negotiations in the next couple of days. The last thing they want is a nasty year, uncertainty going into the draft season next year, and all of the problems associated with potential tampering issues.