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View Full Version : Crabtree to hold out, blame the Raiders.



KoryMac5
08-07-2009, 10:58 AM
Seems Michael will holdout unless the Niners pay him based on his Mock Draft slotting.


Normally, the unpredictable football decisions of Al Davis adversely affect only the team he owns, the bumbling Oakland Raiders.

The NFL’s other 31 teams often benefit from his strange personnel moves, which allow talented draft picks and free agents to slide to them.

In April, the cross-bay San Francisco 49ers rejoiced when the Raiders selected wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey(notes) seventh overall. It allowed the Niners to select Michael Crabtree(notes), a pass-catching machine out of Texas Tech, at No. 10. Predraft hype rated Crabtree higher than Heyward-Bey.

Now the Niners’ dream pick has turned nightmare. In a convoluted strategy, Crabtree is threatening to sit out the 2009 season by negotiating off mock drafts which didn’t occur rather than the real one that did.

Crabtree has decided that he shouldn’t have to be paid less because – based on all the made-up, predicted drafts – Al Davis made a mistake. He wants to be paid more than Heyward-Bey, demanding his contract reflect that it was actually he who was the higher selected receiver.

It’s a ground-breaking, if intellectually bankrupt, concept.

Crabtree’s camp said Thursday that he is even willing to sit out the year and re-enter the draft next spring unless he gets more than the $23.5 million the Raiders guaranteed Heyward-Bey. The news was first reported by profootballtalk.com. Anything less than that stratospheric number is “unacceptable.”

“We are prepared to do it,” David Wells, a cousin of Crabtree, told ESPN. “Michael just wants fair market value. Michael is one of the best players in the draft, and he just wants to be paid like one of the best players.”

The ridiculousness of a guy who’s never caught a professional pass deeming $20-something million “unacceptable” is a testament to the troublesome way the NFL pays its rookies. A sense of youthful entitlement combines with a flawed structure so that the unproven rookie often makes more than the veteran All-Pro.

While NFL players tend to earn their money – a disturbing percentage leave the game as near-cripples dealing with neurological problems – Crabtree would be best served getting to camp and focusing on the tens of millions he will earn rather than the few more he may not.

More intriguing, however, is what Crabtree is trying to pull. Contract negotiations and holdout threats aren’t new. This is. It isn’t just an unorthodox attempt to bypass the traditional (if unofficial) slotting of rookie salaries. It’s putting real value on the unreal speculation that surrounds the buildup to the draft.

Crabtree is trying to get paid off perception, not reality.

Pre-draft hype has grown exponentially over the years. What was once the domain of only hard-core fans has taken on a life of its own. All forms of media dedicate enormous resources to it. The Internet is awash in mock drafts. The draft itself has become a major event in its own right. Next April, the first round will move to Thursday prime time – where it will, no doubt, pull monster television ratings.

Still, as fun and harmless as it is to follow the various prognostications, all of it remains conjecture.

Perhaps Crabtree isn’t aware that even though ESPN will deem sportswriter speculation on “Who will the Raiders pick?” a “Cold Hard Fact,” it is, in fact, not.

Not only is none of the pre-draft coverage “real” – there is no reason to believe it is accurate.

Since there is virtually no benefit for a team to publicly disclose their honest opinions of players, teams blatantly lie about their plans. Why wouldn’t they? Everything you hear should first be assumed inaccurate, not something you can later use in contract negotiations.

The rest of the coverage and discussion that lead up to the draft is opinion – opinion based mostly on pathetically thin research.

Crabtree may indeed be a better player than Heyward-Bey, however much of the public and media sentiment to that regard is because Crabtree played on a high-profile Texas Tech team and scored a dramatic touchdown to upset Texas. Heyward-Bey, meanwhile, played on a fairly anonymous Maryland club.

Just because fans and media – very few of whom watch even a smidgen of tape, have access to team scouting reports or even comprehend the game of football all that well – were more excited about Crabtree means absolutely nothing.

Even if you could prove (and you can’t) that 31 NFL teams felt the same way, it wouldn’t matter. The draft isn’t about consensus opinions; it’s about the decision of each individual franchise.

In this case, the Raiders believed Heyward-Bay was better than Michael Crabtree and they put an oversized contract behind it. That was the only actual, factual thing that occurred. Whether everyone disagreed with Al Davis or whether his recent track record is sketchy doesn’t matter.

The pick is the pick.

Crabtree apparently operates in a world ruled by Mel Kiper Jr. He wants to be paid based on what was wrongly predicted to occur rather than what actually did. In his mind, he was the first receiver drafted, even if he wasn’t.

Talk about your mock drafts.



Until the NFL gets a rookie salary cap in order I don't think this is the first or last time we have seen this.

BRM
08-07-2009, 11:03 AM
I can only hope that he lives up to his promise and sits out the year, only to be drafted even lower in next year's draft. Thus costing him millions.

WMR
08-07-2009, 11:07 AM
What an idiot. I pray that he holds firm because I can't imagine the Niners--or ANY team--capitulating to such asinine demands.

reds1869
08-07-2009, 11:10 AM
And I am once again reminded of what my wife deals with every day as a classroom teacher. The entitlement society is ridiculously out of control.

Chip R
08-07-2009, 11:25 AM
I'm guessing his "advisor" is talking out of school because his agent denied that was a strategy.

Not sure why he wouldn't want to sign with SF. It's not like they are the Bengals.

Reds Fanatic
08-07-2009, 11:51 AM
If he sits out a year he is a moron. The salaries for rookies are out of control in the NFL. There needs to be limits to what an unproven rookie can make. I think that is one of the issues that is going to lead to an NFL strike/lockout in a few years.

Chip R
08-07-2009, 11:55 AM
If he sits out a year he is a moron. The salaries for rookies are out of control in the NFL. There needs to be limits to what an unproven rookie can make. I think that is one of the issues that is going to lead to an NFL strike/lockout in a few years.


Not going to happen. The player's union doesn't have the will to strike. Now there could be a lockout very soon but that would be more teams trying to decide how much of the take they can keep and what they can give to the players.

RedsBaron
08-07-2009, 11:56 AM
Based upon Crabtree's analysis, perhaps the Tennessee Titans should be given Super Bowls rings for last season. Were not the Titans favored when the playoffs began? For that matter, New England definitely should be credited with winning their Super Bowl over the Giants, as the experts had the Patriots more highly ranked.

NJReds
08-07-2009, 12:17 PM
Let him sit out. The league doesn't need him. He can play in the UFL.

cumberlandreds
08-07-2009, 12:51 PM
I can only hope that he lives up to his promise and sits out the year, only to be drafted even lower in next year's draft. Thus costing him millions.

That was my firsts thoughts too. He's a complete idiot if he doesn't sign and his agent would be an even bigger for letting him do it. He would probably be lucky to be a third or 4th round pick after setting out a year and lose millions in the process.

bucksfan2
08-07-2009, 01:10 PM
“We are prepared to do it,” David Wells, a cousin of Crabtree, told ESPN. “Michael just wants fair market value. Michael is one of the best players in the draft, and he just wants to be paid like one of the best players.”

It looks as if Crabtree has the wrong people advising him. When you let a cousin do your talking that can be a bad bad thing, especially for athletes. I remember reading an article about Magic Johnson and what he tells athletes who come to him for advice. If they have a family member on their payroll Magic says you either get rid of them or I will not help you.

Slyder
08-07-2009, 01:34 PM
This guy is just an idiot. He isnt an agent, he's just some dude on the chuckwagon expecting Crabtree to get him some new toy cause he's "family". I'll be shocked if Crabtree or the other half a dozen top 12 or so picks dont sign here soon. Theres too much to lose if they dont.

CTA513
08-07-2009, 01:48 PM
Crabtree is now going to be hated by fans even if he does end up signing.

GIDP
08-07-2009, 01:56 PM
I would love to see someone actually do this.

Eric_the_Red
08-07-2009, 02:19 PM
So should the same principle apply to players drafted ahead of their projected slot? If so, the Bengals should get a deal on Smith.

Why not just let Mel Kiper negotiate all of the contracts before the draft begins?

IslandRed
08-07-2009, 06:58 PM
A rookie wage scale might fall under the "be careful what you wish for" category.

The harsh reality of the NFL is that it chews up guys and spits them out. No one gets paid for what they've done, only what they're expected to do in the future. And with non-guaranteed contracts, the gravy train is over as soon as the team doesn't feel like paying it any more, for whatever reason. That's why every veteran gets as much money up front as he can.

So, if they're not going to pay top rookies because they're unproven and they're also not going to pay them like they're expected to be stars, even though their draft position suggests that's what they believe, everyone knows what's coming after that: holdouts. These guys aren't going to wait three or four years to get paid, the nature of the sport being what it is. So they're going to demand new contracts the instant they become "proven." Or else they'll simply refuse to sign long-term contracts in the first place.

I also think it's a solution in search of a real problem; only the top half of the first round is making excessive money and most teams aren't pressed against the cap anyway, which suggests the savings will be pocketed by ownership more than redistributed to veteran players.

KoryMac5
08-08-2009, 11:45 PM
Looks like the Raiders signing of Bey is affecting the Bengals negotiations with Smith as well:


As evidence begins to emerge regarding the specific numbers relating to the negotiation between the Bengals and tackle Andre Smith, the sixth overall pick in the draft, a source with knowledge of the situation tells us that the holdout could last into the regular season.

Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the Bengals have offered Smith a contract worth $33 million, $5.25 million less than the base value of the contract given to Raiders receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, the seventh pick in the 2009 draft.

Per Reedy, Smith's camp is looking for something slightly greater than Heyward-Bey's deal.

In this instance, waiting to work out a deal with Smith has hurt the Bengals. If they'd moved before Heyward-Bey had signed, the Bengals likely could have gotten Smith for a reasonable increase over the base value of the contract given to last year's sixth overall pick, which a league source tells us was $32.5 million, not $40 million.

Instead, the Bengals are now faced with the floor created by the Heyward-Bey contract, and Smith most likely won't be accepting a penny less.

Really, why should he? For the same reason that receiver Michael Crabtree should respect the slotting system, so should the Bengals.

Could be a very long holdout as the Bengals usually don't blink in contract negotiations when they are dug in like this.

WMR
08-09-2009, 12:24 AM
Might as well just go ahead and cut off Carson's elbow and knee, they'll be useless by week six anyway.

Bengals and Reds. A Confederacy of Dunces.

WMR
08-09-2009, 01:18 AM
You know... it does make perfect sense in a way that this would happen. As well as the Bengals did in their drafting, it was automatically fated that they would screw things up somehow in the negotiation stage. It's the way Mike Brown does business.

RedsBaron
08-09-2009, 08:04 AM
Might as well just go ahead and cut off Carson's elbow and knee, they'll be useless by week six anyway.

Bengals and Reds. A Confederacy of Dunces.

Yep.
Al Davis is way past his prime, but at least he will do anything he thinks will help the Raiders win. "Just win baby" wasn't just a slogan for Al Davis; it was all he wanted--he just doesn't know how to get it done anymore. In contrast, winning football games has never been the primary focus of the Bengals--it apparently has been make money.

Highlifeman21
08-09-2009, 08:40 AM
I would love to see someone actually do this.

I'm with you on that one.

This potentially opens a pandora's box for the NFL if Crabtree sits out b/c the 7th pick in the draft, who just so happens to play WR, will possibly sit out an entire year b/c he'll make less money as the 10th pick.

What's next, some kinda Olineman or Dlineman getting drafted in the end of the 1st Round demanding to get paid as much or more than guys playing the same position that maybe got drafted just out of the top 10, or in the middle of the 1st?

Just for pure amusement, I wanna see him sit out.

Tony Cloninger
08-09-2009, 06:42 PM
I understand that they should have been more pro-active in signing him first.....So they are supposed to overpay beacuse of the Raiders decided to get stupid with their numbers?

flyer85
08-10-2009, 01:03 PM
The problem is the FO's never have a big enough pair to call a bluff. An fat OT with potential attitude issues would love to skip two a days.

Make a more than fair offer and then reduce it by a set amount each day.

Eric_the_Red
08-10-2009, 01:25 PM
The problem is the FO's never have a big enough pair to call a bluff. An fat OT with potential attitude issues would love to skip two a days.

Make a more than fair offer and then reduce it by a set amount each day.

Not exactly the same, but I think the Bengals did a good job in not succumbing to the trade demands of Ochocinco.

flyer85
08-10-2009, 01:42 PM
Not exactly the same, but I think the Bengals did a good job in not succumbing to the trade demands of Ochocinco.

If Smith wants to sit out, get fatter and blow millions in the process the Bangals need to tell him to have at it. These negotiations are not about the player, they are about the agent. The agent doesn't want to "look bad" by having their player agree to a lesser contract than a later pick. For the agent it is about the ability to market themselves to the next player rather than doing what is in the best interest of their current player.

KoryMac5
08-10-2009, 02:59 PM
Looks like Crabtree's agent Eugene Parker has told the cousin to zip his lip and stop running his mouth to the press. This comes from Mike Fisher who covers Dallas Area Sports:


I have what you might call “second-hand knowledge’’ of the Michael Crabtree matter. Second-hand in the sense that I was sitting right there as my man Nate Newton was engaged in phone conversations with David Wells, the Dallas-based bodyguard/bail bondsman who happens to be the cousin and advisor of Crabtree, the spectacular Texas Tech receiver engaged in a rookie-contract dispute with the 49ers.

And here’s what I know: It’s not really Crabtree who is telling the 49ers he might sit out the entire year and re-enter the NFL Draft next season if San Francisco doesn’t meet his demands. Nor is it veteran agent Eugene Parker who is telling the 49ers such an incendiary thing.

No, it’s David Wells. And David isn’t even saying it to the 49ers! He’s just saying it to reporters.

That’s creating the impression that Crabtree is some sort of a “diva’’ when in fact, all we’ve got here is a cousin who thinks Michael is “the best player in the whole draft’’ – the sort of thing an agent wouldn’t say but the sort of thing a relative would say.

On Friday, David Wells popped off one more time, to ESPN’s Joe Schad. And then after that, I’m told, Team Crabtree convened and – led by Eugene Parker, as it should be – ordered David Wells to quit talking to reporters.

There’s a reason lawyers don’t represent themselves in court. And there’s a reason smart lawyers don’t let their cousins who are bodyguard/bail bondsmen represent them in court, either.

I would have to imagine Crabtree will cut ties with Wells soon.

Eric_the_Red
08-10-2009, 03:18 PM
http://images.wikia.com/openserving/sports/images/3/3e/David_Wells_Shrug.jpg

bucksfan2
08-10-2009, 04:04 PM
If Smith wants to sit out, get fatter and blow millions in the process the Bangals need to tell him to have at it. These negotiations are not about the player, they are about the agent. The agent doesn't want to "look bad" by having their player agree to a lesser contract than a later pick. For the agent it is about the ability to market themselves to the next player rather than doing what is in the best interest of their current player.

That is probably my biggest problem with camp holdouts. Its never about the player and getting a fair contract. It is about the agent's ability to get $1 than expected. Its about being able to go to prospective clients and say "I got this guy this, when he only expected to get this."

flyer85
08-11-2009, 10:30 AM
That is probably my biggest problem with camp holdouts. Its never about the player and getting a fair contract. It is about the agent's ability to get $1 than expected. Its about being able to go to prospective clients and say "I got this guy this, when he only expected to get this."and most players aren't smart enough to realize that the agent is doing what he perceives to be in HIS best interest, not necessarily the players best interest (sometimes they may be the same but it doesn't have to be).

The best example ever is the Harrington/Tanzer/Rockies episode.

KoryMac5
08-26-2009, 12:25 PM
Eugene Parker continues to distance himself from Crabtree. This holdout might get nasty really quick:


No contact between Niners, Crabtree
Posted by Mike Florio on August 25, 2009 6:26 PM ET
As the contract impasse between the San Francisco 49ers and the tenth overall pick in the 2009 draft approaches September 1, a league source tells us that there has been "no contact" between the Niners and Eugene Parker, the agent for receiver Michael Crabtree.

It's widely believed that Crabtree wants to secure more money in the tenth slot than receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey finagled from the Raiders as the seventh overall pick.

It's also widely believed that the 49ers won't pay Crabtree a dime more than the Packers gave to defensive lineman B.J. Raji at the ninth overall slot.

Meanwhile, we're hearing that Parker is dealing with the Crabtree conundrum on the recruiting trail by blaming the holdout on the player. Parker, we're told, is pointing to the deal he negotiated for defensive end Tyson Jackson at the third overall slot as proof that Parker is willing and able to negotiate a fair deal for a first-round pick.

We continue to think that the two sides will come together not long before the regular season begins. But we also think that Crabtree won't have the kind of impact he could have had as a rookie, if he'd merely taken a slotted deal and gotten into camp.

And we recognize the possibility that Crabtree thinks enough of his skills (after all, he said he can run a 4.4 with crutches) that he could re-enter the draft and be picked even higher next year.

We're still kind of rooting for that, primarily since Peter King has vowed to change his name to Derek Jeter if Crabtree goes into the 2010 draft pool.

Caveat Emperor
08-26-2009, 04:21 PM
Someone should tell Michael Crabtree to go read the wikipedia entry for "Mike Williams."

MJA
08-28-2009, 05:01 PM
Does anyone really think that if Crabtree were to sit out the entire season and re-enter the draft, that Goodell would just sit on the sidelines and do nothing? Crabtree would be making a mockery of the draft system and I can't imagine that Goodell would let something that would "reflect poorly on the league" happen so easily.

BuckeyeRed27
08-28-2009, 06:15 PM
Does anyone really think that if Crabtree were to sit out the entire season and re-enter the draft, that Goodell would just sit on the sidelines and do nothing? Crabtree would be making a mockery of the draft system and I can't imagine that Goodell would let something that would "reflect poorly on the league" happen so easily.

What could he do?

Brutus
08-28-2009, 06:37 PM
Does anyone really think that if Crabtree were to sit out the entire season and re-enter the draft, that Goodell would just sit on the sidelines and do nothing? Crabtree would be making a mockery of the draft system and I can't imagine that Goodell would let something that would "reflect poorly on the league" happen so easily.

This is something he does not have a whole lot of discretion. His hands would likely be tied over this one. With regard to personal conduct, he has the ability to act in the best interests of the league. But there's not much legal wiggle room for him to spare the draft from any damage that might be done over this.