One draft pick remains unsigned
Michael Crabtree is the only unsigned 2009 draft pick after the Bengals reached contract terms with tackle Andre Smith earlier today. Crabtree’s contract impasse is in its 32nd day.
Does this mean the Crabtree deal is closer to happening? No and yes.
The sides are no closer in principle, but . . . it is another day closer to the beginning of the regular season.
That’s significant because a player without a contract starts to feel the pinch on his wallet once the regular season begins. Players get 1/17th of their base salaries every week during the regular season. So Crabtree will only begin losing money when he’s not collecting game checks.
There have been no negotiations between the 49ers and Crabtree’s camp. The 49ers have submitted an offer, and they’re waiting for Crabtree to sign the contract.
The 49ers believe Crabtree will sign. Crabtree has spent a lot of time in the Bay Area. So that’s a definite sign that he intends to sign at some point. But when? The most logical guess from league insiders is that Crabtree will put pen to paper some time around Labor Day.
The 49ers still think they can get some production from Crabtree as a rookie. When Crabtree signs, he can be used for a handful of plays a game – running specific routes – until he gains more knowledge of the offense. Then, his role can increase, depending on how quickly he picks it up.
Although it seems unlikely Crabtree can become a starter any time soon, he still has a chance to make a contribution this season.
* * *
The 49ers cut five players today to reach the 75-player limit. Those delivered bad news were CBs Carlos Thomas and Jahi Word-Daniels, receivers Mark Bradford and Chris Francies, and kicker Alex Romero.
The 49ers have another roster opening to use after tackle Marvel Smith decided to retire.
* * *
LB Ahmad Brooks did not see much action at all last night. Mike Singletary was a little vague about the injury, saying he has a left knee contusion that may or may not have occurred in the game last night. Singletary said it’s possible Brooks has been trying to gut his way through the injury without telling anybody. He was scheduled to get an MRI examination today, Singletary said.
Also, WR Arnaz Battle has a left shoulder contusion.
* * *
When the 49ers selected tight end Bear Pascoe in the draft, the team envisioned him as the second tight end to be used as a blocker in short-yardage situations. However, J.J. Finley has been getting more action in that role than Pascoe, who has struggled as he makes the transition to the pro game. Singletary said those two will continue to battle for that job.
* * *
Safety Michael Lewis sustained his second concussion in two weeks. He was held out several days after reporting a concussion on Aug. 18 in a practice against the Raiders. Singletary said Lewis was cleared to resume work before experiencing another concussion last night.
* * *
Cornerback Nate Clements has not been a lock-down corner in the exhibition season. Singletary said sometimes veterans lose focus. “The important thing is he’s continuing to go forward and he’ll clean it up. Nate knows what he has to do,” Singletary said.
* * *
Singletary announced no timetable in naming the No. 3 quarterback. He said it could be after the final exhibition game or it could be before that. Rookie Nate Davis all but assured himself of a roster spot with his play this summer. The question is whether the 49ers will also want to retain veteran Damon Huard.
* * *