The most important thing is that the deal is done, whether someone "won" or "lost".
In the end, as I predicted for some time now, it would take a unique contract to get both sides to agree, and one that both sides can claim victory. And, both sides did win, if the argument was about maintaining or breeching the slot.
And, as I predicted, the Niners held onto the slot in guaranteed money, and Crabtree signed out of the slot in total money.
While Mike Florio goes around pounding his chest in "victory", since he was an antagonist against the Crabtree postion from the beginning (Crabtree must have done something to him in a previous life), even he concedes that Crabtree's deal is better than Raji's (not in that language), as Raji can only close up to Crabtree's numbers if he hits his incentives, while Crabtree does not reach his. If both hit all incentives, Crabtree's contract far surpasses Raji's.
And, while those who stood against Crabtree are happy that this is a six year deal, and calculate the numbers in this way, in the end, with 5 or 6 missed games in 2009, this is really a prorated 5 2/3 year deal that could be voided down to a 4 2/3 year deal.
So, the real calculation for Crabtree's number should not be at 6 years, but 5.66 years, since he did not join the team until today.
So, with no penalties for signing late, 5.66 years at a base of $32 million (6 years at $40 million is the number if escalators are hit) is not bad. Certainly, Crabtree and Parker won this battle. Raji's base is 5 years at $22.5 million.
I think both sides are satisfied with the contract. The Niners admirably fought hard to stick to the slot in guaranteed money, and Crabtree was able to generate an outstanding payday ahead over the life of this contract. It will be interesting to hear how this contract played out in the mind of Eugene Parker, but he rarely, if ever, discusses contracts with the media. He is more of a ghost than anything else.
P.S. I believe that some people who are desperate to claim a Crabtree defeat state that this contract was the same offered in July. I sincerely doubt that this was the same one. I think both sides met in the middle, and this contract was not the one originally offered by the Niners (even in a 5-year deal).