Sanders speaks for Crabtree
The 49ers dispute Deion Sanders’ statement that two teams contacted the 49ers in an attempt to trade for receiver Michael Crabtree.
“Those conversations never took place,” a 49ers spokesman said Friday night.
Crabtree has not talked publicly since 49ers training camp opened July 28 without him, but his unofficial advisor Sanders spoke for him today on the NFL Network. Sanders’ message: Crabtree is serious about sitting out the season, and there are teams out there willing to pay Crabtree twice as much as the 49ers.
“Why would you settle for $20 million when you feel like you can get $40 million,” Sanders said. “That’s the problem.”
The Press Democrat has reported that the 49ers’ offer to Crabtree, as the No. 10 pick in the draft, is about $20 million over five years with $16 million in guaranteed money.
The deadline to trade an unsigned draft pick has passed for the league year. Even if Crabtree were to sign with the 49ers, the club would be unable to trade him until March 1. The 49ers would retain his rights up to the 2010 NFL draft.
“Pretty much the San Francisco 49ers need him desperately,” Sanders said. “You would think Michael Crabtree would need it (the money) but he’s not in dire need of money at this time and I’m saying that honestly.”
Might this be a last-gasp negotiating ploy in hopes of turning up the heat on the 49ers? After all, the regular season begins next week. Crabtree would have to sign no later than Saturday, Sept. 12, to avoid missing a game
“Is he willing to sit out the entire year? I think so,” Sanders said. “I really think so.”