The 49ers have filed tampering charges against the New York Jets for having illegal contact regarding unsigned draft pick Michael Crabtree, the New York Daily News reports. The newspaper cites “sources.”
According the report, the 49ers may believe the Jets contacted Crabtree’s agent, Eugene Parker, to let him know they’d be interested in trading for his rights, or in drafting him in 2010 with a better salary than the 49ers are offering.
The deadline passed last month for a team to trade an unsigned draft pick. (They are prohibited from doing a sign-and-trade, too.) If Crabtree remains unsigned past through Nov. 17, he can’t play this season. The 49ers would then have a seven-week window, beginning March 5, to trade him before the draft.
“We’ll let the NFL figure that one out,” Jets coach Rex Ryan said this morning on “Mike and Mike in the Morning” on ESPN Radio. “I think it’s ridiculous, personally. . . . I wish we were playing them (the 49ers).”
The NFL declined comment this morning.
“We do not comment on reports of tampering,” NFL senior vice president of public relations Greg Aiello said. On September 5, the day after Sanders’ comments, Aiello told The Press Democrat that it was an issue between the 49ers and Crabtree.
In 2008, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell ruled the 49ers violated the league anti-tampering policy when it contacted Drew Rosenhaus, agent for Bears linebacker Lance Briggs, during the 2007 season. The 49ers forfeited their fifth-round pick, and the 49ers and Bears swapped third-round picks. (The 49ers were originally slated to pick five picks earlier than the Bears in the round.)
In response to the ruling, 49ers GM Scot McCloughan objected to the punishment.
“The 49ers organization respects Commissioner Goodell’s ruling, however we do disagree with it,” McCloughan. “This was not a malicious act; we believe that our intent was within the NFL guidelines. Going forward, we will take the necessary steps to ensure we are in compliance with the NFL’s interpretation.”
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A 49ers spokesman said the 49ers would make not public comment, saying, “Those are internal matters that are handled by the league, therefore we are not going to discuss the topic.”
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