The 10th pick in this year’s NFL draft still hasn’t signed with his team. He’s missing valuable time, valuable learning experience, and valuable bonding time with his quarterback. He’s also proving to a lot of people that there should be a rookie wage scale. I wrote about it before, you can check it out here. I don’t have anything against Crabtree trying to get the best deal he can get. I’d do the same thing. But at what point is this previously labeled prima donna going to realize how greedy, selfish, and pompous he is making himself out to be? At what point does his agent, Eugene Parker, turn to him and say something like “hey Michael, if you take this money, you can set yourself and your family up for life. If you play at the top of your game, we can demand more money later before your deal is up. You win either way.”?
He believes, and was hyped up to believe, he is a top 5 pick. Well, 9 teams before him didn’t think he was either good enough or worth the risk to draft him. He must not realize what a disservice his agent is doing him by continuing to demand a contract higher than the 7th overall pick, Darius Heyward-Bey. Its one thing to feel he is better than DHB, it’s quite another to pout and whine and threaten to take your ball and run home if you aren’t treated like the pick of the litter. Let’s face facts; he wasn’t able to showcase his skills at the combine because he was injured. The Niners drafted him because he fell to them, and they believe his college resume was good enough to draft him. He was great in college, but this isn’t college. He isn’t being paid for what he did. He isn’t being paid because he feels he out-performed any other receiver. If that’s what he’s thinking, then he needs to have a reality check and perhaps fire his agent and separate himself from anyone else who enables that mentality.
He’s threatened to sit out an entire year if he doesn’t get a contract worthy of a much higher pick. Who does he think he’s hurting? The 49ers will still play the season without him. He’s allowing some other receivers to get his reps, and perhaps a diamond in the rough may emerge and they won’t miss him. Let’s be real, the 49ers need a talent like him on the field. Shaun Hill needs a target like him on the field if he is to keep his newly appointed job of starting quarterback. Does he really think that some team, no matter how desperate they are for a receiver, will draft him next year at a slot he feels is more befitting of him? He hasn’t caught 1 single pass in a live NFL game, pre-season or otherwise. He hasn’t run a route, hasn’t been tackled, hasn’t had to shake off a bad game, and hasn’t proven a damn thing to anyone yet on the NFL level. The only thing he’s show so far is that he’s immature, selfish, and a diva. He denied such behavior or mentality before the draft. Now he’s alienating himself from a lot of people, including fans. Fans will always support their team, but now he has to gain their acceptance if he ever signs and joins the team.
I blame you, Mel Kiper Jr., and you too Mike Mayock. Your bold predictions of where players should be drafted don’t always fall on deaf ears. And now the 49ers and their fans have their bubble burst by a young man who believed his own hype. I’m just kidding though, Mel and Mike do a very good job of evaluating talent and they are just doing their job. Teams don’t have to listen to them (and often don’t) and players certainly shouldn’t be smelling themselves when one of these guys places them high on their draft board.
Crabtree is trying to set a precedent that others have tried and failed to do. He has held up other draft picks like the Bills’ Aaron Maybin before he decided he had enough and signed his contract. He has solidified the owner’s argument that rookies are too well compensated for doing nothing but being drafted. He has validated the veterans who believe the same thing, and know that they get less money because it’s being tied up in someone who’s there to try and take their job from them. I won’t be surprised if there is a rookie wage scale instituted very quickly and with little resistance from anyone but agents. All future draft picks can thank Crabtree because everyone remembers the last idiot that cost them something. And in this case, this man is going to cost them millions. Imagine if you or I decided our salary wasn’t large enough when we got hired by a company and threaten to not show up for work until we have the salary of our boss’ boss. Yeah, you would be escorted out, and recommended to the nearest mental hospital. Again, Crabtree has a right to seek as much as he can get in his contract. What he lacks is a solid argument for it.
Because he believes he’s better than another player who was selected before him does not mean that the team that is taking a chance on him is obligated to pay him as much as, or more than that player. He should pick up a phone and call Matt Lienart and ask him how it feels to drop lower than expected? But Lienart knew (or someone eventually told him) that the only way he could get more money would be to prove he deserved it on the field. Having not yet done that, I’m sure that he’s very happy he reached a contract agreement and has millions in the bank in case he’s never good enough to warrant a new mega contract. Crabtree should learn a lesson from Lienart being humbled by an “old man” who proved he was indeed the better, more reliable option at their position. Crabtree also has the misfortune to have Mike Singletary as the coach of the team that drafted him. Anyone who will pull down his pants and moon his team, and put every job on the line isn’t likely to give in to the demands of a rookie who hasn’t proven a damn thing to anyone. Singletary is old school. You earned everything back in his time.
Thanks to Michael Crabtree and a few others like him, but mostly him, all future draft picks now face that same prospect if the owners decide to and succeed at implementing a rookie wage scale. Oh, and Crabtree would be subject to that same rookie wage scale if he goes forward and carries out his threat to sit out an entire year and re-enter the draft. In that scenario, he’ll end up with even less money that what he finds insulting now. It’s a 50/50 gamble: If he gets drafted higher next year and no wage scale in place by then, he will make more money than he would now. I hope he’s praying that they don’t implement it before he finally signs a rookie contract. Hope he doesn’t have to find out just how perfect hind sight can be.