NFL: 49ers, Crabtree need to work it out
The NFL does not plan to investigate whether teams have tampered with unsigned 49ers draft pick Michael Crabtree, an NFL spokesman said this morning.
Deion Sanders, speaking on the NFL Network on Friday, intimated two NFL teams have gotten word to Crabtree that they’re willing to pay him more than the five-year, $20 million contract the 49ers are offering.
“Two teams have contacted the San Francisco 49ers desiring a trade and will pay this kid. And he knows that,” Sanders said of Crabtree. He did not name the two teams, and the 49ers denied Friday that any teams contacted them about acquiring Crabtree in a trade. The deadline passed three weeks ago for unsigned draft picks to be traded.
Sanders is intimately close to the situation. He has known Crabtree for years and served as a mentor. Sanders spoke several times with 49ers coach Mike Singletary prior to the draft to vouch for Crabtree’s character. During his playing career, Sanders was represented by Eugene Parker, whom also represents Crabtree.
When asked if the league intends to follow up on Sanders’ statements, the league said it would not.
“This is an issue to be worked out by the 49ers and Michael Crabtree, not our office,” said NFL senior vice president of public relations Greg Aiello.
Sanders said the 49ers have offered Crabtree $20 million for five seasons, but added, “To me, that’s not good enough.”
Added Sanders, “Yeah, they have an extra $8 million, yeah, but if he catches more balls than Jerry Rice in the first or second year. And with their quarterback situation, that’s not going to be the case. So he’s looking at real numbers. Some of these young guys never make it to the second contract. You may never get another chance.”
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