Q&A: Are you sick of Crabtree?

Q&A: Are you sick of Crabtree?

Two weeks ago, I wrote a blog post that I figured would hold up for a while to explain the whole Michael Crabtree-49ers contract stalemate.

As it turns out, I was actually correct.

The only thing I’d add to that Aug. 13 post is that the 49ers’ contract proposal has been narrowed down to a smaller plus-minus margin of error. I’ve deduced that the 49ers have offered Crabtree a contract that fits in line with what the No. 10 overall pick would’ve normally expected to receive this year, if this were a normal No. 10 pick in a normal year.

The deal the 49ers are offering is in the neighborhood of five years, $20 million base, $26.5 million maximum, with $16 million guaranteed. Crabtree and his agent, Eugene Parker, know the 49ers offer, and the 49ers are not willing to move from a deal commensurate with the No. 10 slot.

Here is a sampling of the questions I received this morning:

Q: Are you getting sick of all the Crabtree questions? (Russ S)

A: Actually, no, I’m not. I find it fascinating.

Well, at least I’m not tired of answering good questions or questions that I haven’t already answered many, many times in previous posts. (No, the 49ers do not receive any compensation if they fail to sign him before next year’s draft.) There has been no movement since late June. I cannot guarantee you that I’ll have the news immediately after either side begins to cave in, but I can assure you that when I hear there’s been a change, I will report it.

So I do get sick of the same ol’ “Is there anything new with Crabtree?” And I really get sick of questions that are in All-CAPs.


A: Next question.

Q: Why is Crabtree’s agent throwing him under the bus? (Brandon C-T)

A: You’re referring to a ProFootballTalk.com post in its “Latest News & Rumors” section yesterday that read, “we’re hearing that (agent Eugene) Parker is dealing with the Crabtree conundrum on the recruiting trail by blaming the holdout on the player.”

This goes in line with what I wrote about two weeks ago that many believe Crabtree is “driving the bus.” Ultimately, the player is responsible. The agent works for the player. If the player wanted to sign the contract and report to training camp, he would’ve done it long ago.

I’ve also heard that Parker has privately told the 49ers that their offer is fair. (Coach Mike Singletary is also on record as saying he believes the offer is fair.)  Parker clearly does not want this negotiation to work against him, as far as attracting future clients. Most players, I assume, would like to have their contracts settled fairly so they can report to training camp on time. This could end up being ugly for Crabtree and his agent. If the 49ers do not budge – and I don’t think they will – I do not see how Crabtree and Parker can emerge united out of this ordeal.

Q: Can you confirm that Scotty (McCloughan) was speaking with the Crab camp yesterday? (Tim C)

A: You’re referring to Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area’s report in which 49ers general manager Scot McCloughan said there was communication Tuesday. McCloughan did not say he talked to the Crabtree camp, only that there was some form of communication between somebody representing the 49ers and somebody representing Crabtree. I’ve never reported that the sides have not spoken. In fact, I’ve heard they communicate regularly. But I have reported – and confirmed again this morning – that the sides are not in active negotiations.

Q: With all the hype that went around the past two weeks about WR’s having great camps, I failed to see what they hype is all about the first two games. (Alvin K)

A: The 49ers’ starting quarterback has attempted nine passes in two games. Their No. 1 receiver, Isaac Bruce, did not suit up for the first game and played one series in the other. Their most dynamic receiver from the first week of camp, Brandon Jones, is out through September with a broken shoulder. Maybe you’ve also heard that Michael Crabtree is nowhere to be seen . . .

I agree, the 49ers’ receiving corps has been less-than spectacular in two exhibition games. I still believe the wideouts are going to be better this season than they’ve been in a while. If the receiving corps is not much-improved, it will be a major, major disappointment for the organization.


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I’m not in Santa Clara today, but there’s some news emerging. Shaun Hill sustained a back strain yesterday, and threw just one practice in team drills today, according to reports from practice. And here. He is iffy for Saturday’s exhibition game against the Cowboys. Alex Smith is expected to sit out this week with a right thumb sprain. If neither Hill nor Smith plays, veteran Damon Huard and rookie Nate Davis will be the available quarterbacks.

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