More on alleged tampering with Crabtree

Deion Sanders, a Michael Crabtree confidant, said two teams contacted the 49ers to talk about trading for the unsigned rookie wide receiver. The 49ers denied any trade talks ever took place. Now, another well-connected voice confirms what Sanders initially revealed earlier this month on the NFL Network.


Andrew Brandt, who has more than 20 years experience as a football executive and writes about business matters for National Football Post, reports he knows there were “a couple teams that tried in vain to secure Crabtree’s rights.”

He adds, “Those trade discussions were rebuffed by the 49ers. They want the player they drafted at the 10th pick. That’s the asset they want, not another draft choice or player.”

Neither Brandt nor Sanders named the teams interested in trading for Crabtree. Of course, Sanders also suggested there had been some form of tampering involved, too. Brandt writes he has no knowledge that any of that happened with Crabtree.

The 49ers believe they have a strong case against the New York Jets, a source said. After all, they know from first-hand knowledge the kind of evidence that is likely to sway NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who ruled against the 49ers in a tampering case. Goodell determined the 49ers had improper communications with the agent for Chicago Bears’ Lance Briggs around the time of the 2007 trade deadline.

Now, this is beginning to make sense. The Bears and 49ers talked about a trade for Briggs in 2007. Obviously, armed with some knowledge, the Bears pursued tampering charges against the 49ers. It seems reasonable to conclude that the Jets are one of the teams that contacted the 49ers about a potential trade prior to the Aug. 14 deadline.

The 49ers must know – or think they know – something about how the Jets comported themselves with Crabtree or his agent, Eugene Parker, during that timeframe.

A source tells me the 49ers do not believe any other team or teams tampered with Crabtree. Their sole focus is on proving the Jets violated the league’s anti-tampering policy. The 49ers do not plan to pursue any additional tampering charges, the source said.

The Jets are vehemently denying any accusations of wrongdoing, just as the 49ers did when a report surfaced in February 2008 that the Bears had filed tampering charges against them. Jets coach Rex Ryan on Monday called the allegations “ridiculous.” He said he wishes the Jets could play the 49ers.

When asked about Ryan’s comment, 49ers coach Mike Singletary responded, “I think it’s outstanding. I love that. That’s Rex Ryan. I love Rex Ryan, as well. Maybe at some point in time we will play. But, for right now, we’re thinking about Minnesota and we’ve got to get prepared for them. And, who knows? Maybe we’ll see Rex somewhere along the line.”

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