By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
Hey!! Who’s The New Guy??
Reportedly the Niners will give the unsigned first-rounder (10th overall) a six-year deal for $32M with $17M in guaranteed money with a voidable last year.
The deal’s terms seem very similar to the contract that the 49ers had been offering since training camp, so have to ask yourself what was Crabtree holding out so long for. And don’t forget that he’s already forfeited four game checks in the 2009 season.
Crabtree’s signing ends the NFL’s closest situation to former running back Bo Jackson’s season-long holdout in 1986. It was known that Crabtree had flown to the Bay Area on Monday to help in negotiations with Niners general manager Scot McCloughan.
However you never really knew if Crabtree and his gaggle of advisers including his agent (Eugene Parker), former NFL great Deion Sanders, and his bail bondsman relative David Wells, would allow the deal to go through (deadline was November 17th – the last day to sign rookies before they are automatically placed back in the 2010 NFL Draft).
Crabtree and his crew had talked tough, asking for more than the amount that the Raiders overpaid for their first rounder Darrius Heyward-Bey — 7th overall pick got 5-years, $38.25M real/$54M max; $23.5M guaranteed. But in the end, Crabtree needed the Niners (3-1) more than they needed him.
San Francisco’s no-nonsense head coach Mike Singletary made it abundantly clear that the team would go on with or without the former Texas Tech star.
So with Crabtree back in the Niners fold, they clearly may have added another impact player to the NFC West’s leading team. The Niners current leading pass catcher is emerging TE Vernon Davis (17 catches for 211 yards, 12.4 ypc, and 3 TDs).
Crabtree probably would have been a Top 5 pick, if not for a late-season foot injury that lingered into the draft process. Before the 2009 NFL Draft, some considered Crabtree to be the next Larry Fitzgerald after only two years at Texas Tech, where he was a man amongst boys producing 231 receptions for 3,127 yards, and 41 touchdowns.
One scout I talked to prior to the draft, raved about Crabtree’s ability to start-and-stop in routes, superior hand-eye coordination, good body control and an aggressive run-after-catch skills.
Now the next player vying for the NFL’s “Diva Receiver Crown” will need to win over the Niners’ lockerroom and Singletary, who is known for his “Can’t use him” mentality.
Already in post draft mini-camps, Singletary got on Crabtree in practices so it will be fun to see how long it takes for him to adjust to the NFL game. Crabtree after signing is expected to be placed on the roster exemption list for 1 to 2 weeks as he rounds himself into football shape.