Michael Crabtree arrived at the 49ers’ practice facility around 11 a.m., shook hands with his teammates and then went out of the practice field for the team’s morning walk-through. Coach Mike Singletary said Crabtree will not suit up for Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons.
The 49ers are eligible for a two-week roster exemption, so they will not have to clear a spot on the 53-man roster until after the bye week.
A club source said Crabtree did not want to have a press conference to announce his signing, but the club insisted on it. Here are excerpts from his brief meeting with the media this morning.
Q: What changed in your approach to make you want to get a deal done now?
Crabtree: “I just let my agent handle all my business. The 49ers came to us and we came to them and everybody came to a reachable agreement and it happened.”
(Agent Eugene Parker did not attend the press conference. Most times an agent will be available for questions after a client signs such a high-profile contract.)
Q: Why was it worth it to hold out all that time?
Crabtree: “I’m just glad I’m past that part.”
Q: What did you gain from it?
Crabtree: “I’m very humble right now. It was a very humbling experience. And just getting a chance to sit back and better myself as a person, as a player, as a teammate.”
Q: So did holding out all those days make you humble?
Crabtree: “I’m not just saying it made me humble, but it’s a very humbling experience. And I felt like going through that made me look at the world a different way – look at my teammates a different way. Hopefully, it’ll work out for the best.”
Q: What’s it feel like to be a professional athlete and see your dream come true?
Crabtree: “A weight has been lifted off my shoulders, and I can’t want to get in this locker room with my teammates, get out there with coach Mike Singletary and get out there and play on Sundays.”
Q: What do you hope to be able to contribute in the context of the entire season?
Crabtree: “Doing the best job I can do. Anything coach asks me to do, whether it’s block or running go-routes for no reason, I’m doing it all just to win. Anything I can to do help the team win, I’m here.”
Q: How closely did you watch the 49ers when you were away?
Crabtree: “I watched every game. This is the team that drafted me so I watched them very closely every Sunday. I’m looking forward to playing a big role in this offense.”
Q: Do you have concerns coming into this offense about how much you can produce?
Crabtree: “I’m not a numbers guy. I’m a football player. Whatever coach asks me to do, I’m out there doing it to the best of my ability.”
Q: Did you feel there was a point you weren’t going to sign?
Crabtree: “My whole approach during this situation was to get better every day. I never looked at what the media was saying or what anybody else was saying.”
Q: Your cousin was somebody who said that, can you confirm or deny that?
Crabtree: “I’m Michael Crabtree, and whatever I say is what I say.”
Q: Are you concerned that teammates might be resentful that you didn’t go through camp?
Crabtree: “Like I said, for the team to accept me, I can’t do nothing but play my part. I’m coming in to play football.
Singletary steps up and says, “Last question.”
Q: How do you feel about having to win over the fans who have been upset with you?
Crabtree: “Oh, man. I wouldn’t know if they’re upset with me or not. All I can do is come in here and be the best teammate I can be and try to do the best job I can do.”
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