I know every 49er faithful hates Michael Crabtree right now; he hasn’t earned anything less. When a 22 year old who left college early doesn’t think $16 million guaranteed isn’t enough, he won’t be anyone’s favorite person. It is ridiculous to watch year after year, a rookie holdout for more money because they feel they are entitled to it. When a rookie makes more money than a five year veteran, something is wrong. It is a broken system the NFL has, and Crabtree is merely trying to take advantage of it. I understand that part. What I don’t understand is the logic behind sitting out an entire season in hopes of getting picked higher than 10. Here’s why his plan won’t work:
1) He’ll have been out of football for an entire year. His last season of playing full-on football ended with foot surgery. Can you really see teams lining up to use a top pick on a wide receiver who hasn’t played football for a year after foot surgery? I’ve got some bad news for Michael Moneytree, Matt Millen isn’t the General Manager for the Lions anymore. His Mike Williams experiment exploded in his face and should have cost him his job. Another wild card would be Crazy Al Davis, but he already had a chance to draft Crabtree and passed. And a player’s value only goes down after missing a year of football. The only other owner I can envision gambling on Crabtree is Jerry Jones. Jones has a reputation of being arrogant and would take a chance on the Texas native. However, the Cowboys aren’t likely to have a high first round pick. Which brings me to point number two.
2) The number 10 pick usually makes a little more than the number 11 pick, and a little less than the 9th. That makes sense right? After the top five is selected, and then the top 10, and Michael Crabtree is still on the board, teams will want a player who they know they can sign. If Crabtree didn’t take number 10 money last year, why would he take number 15 money this year? Owners and GM’s already witnessed a young man’s greed and think, “We can’t draft him, he’ll want Tim Tebow money.”
3) Matt Leinart refused his deal when he fell to the Cardinals at 10. He did have the sense to sign when Denny Green publicly lashed out at him. It may be his opinion to think he should have gone higher, therefore gotten paid more, but the he didn’t. It’s just stupid to believe you should get paid more just because you think you should have been picked higher. The team gets a deal because there were concerns, and they aren’t going to pay more than what they are willing to give.
4) Owners will stick together. They can either use this situation as a good example or a bad example. If Crabtree sits out and gets more money next year, every other rookie will see there is a way to get more money. Every unsatisfied rookie will threaten to sit out and get paid more the following year. Or, the owners can make sure Crabtree gets what he deserves. He could be drafted even later than the first round, say the second or third. His peers will see the owners will not cave. Instead of $16 million dollars, the new offer will looking more like $1.6 million guaranteed. Team owners will not give rookies any power. Sitting out is the only leverage the rookies have, and this will only prove it isn’t any real leverage at all.
There have been rumblings about the 49ers lowering their offer and will continue to do so every week. I’m glad to hear Scot McCloughan isn’t a total idiot. If the 49ers were really petty (and hilarious), they could draft Crabtree every year with no intentions of signing him. How funny would that be? Then to make money, the former athlete who only prepared for football after college, will have to find a real job and know the feeling of wishing for $16 million dollars.