Who Gave In, Scot McCloughan or Michael Crabtree?

There was glee and delight for the 49er Faithful when it was announced that Michael Crabtree had finally signed with the Niners.  After the excitement the questions was, or at least for me, who gave in?  After two months of holdouts did GM Scot McCloughan go against the unspoken rookie salary slot rule and give Crabtree the money he wanted all along?  Or did Crabtree finally come to his senses, stopped listening to Deion Sanders, and decided signing was his best option?  What it all comes down to is guaranteed money.  Let’s break it down to see who gave in:

  • Crabtree and his agent Eugene Parker were holding out for the guaranteed money that the first wide receiver picked in the draft, Darrius Heyward-Bey at number seven, received which was $23.5 million.  Crabtree’s contract is $17 million of guaranteed money, which is only a million higher than the $16 million the 49ers first offered Crabtree.  Advantage McCloghan.
  • The contract Crabtree signed was a six-year deal worth $32 million that can turn into a five-year deal if he meets incentives.  The sixth year would be voided if he goes to the Pro Bowl during his first four years, along with playing 80 percent of the offensive snaps during a separate season in which the 49ers reach the playoffs.  The deal can be worth up to $40 million if he achieves every incentive in the deal.  I want Crabtree to reach these incentives but with receivers like Larry Fitzgerald, Steve Smith, Anquan Boldin, Calvin Johnson and Roddy White in the NFC going to the Pro Bowl might be hard for him to achieve.  He has lost one year, this year, so let’s see how he does the next three years.  Advantage McCloughan.
  • A positive for McCloughan and even team president Jed York was the fact that they never said anything negative about Crabtree publicly to try to pressure him into signing.  We have seen owners do this in the past and it has worked but the 49ers organization knows it has a good team with or without Crabtree and publicly pressuring the former Texas Tech star would be a bigger distraction for the team.  Advantage McCloughan.
  • Who gave in? Crabtree of course.  McClouhan at no point gave into the demands of Crabtree and his inner circle.  He said the offer is what is, take it or leave it.  He did not receive the money he was looking for and the 49ers gave him more money in guarantees than originally offered but it was lower than the 9th pick B.J. Raji’s $18 million and higher than the 11th pick, Aaron Maybin, received which was $15 million.  The more money guaranteed is also because it is a six-year deal rather than a five-year deal.  Advantage McCloughan.

No one will really know why Crabtree decided to sign.  Was it the 3-1 start by the Niners?  Was it the Jets trading for WR Braylon Edwards and him thinking that he would not get the money Deion Sanders was saying two other teams would pay him?  Was it selfishness, like the holdout, that made him sign?  Meaning he knew how much money he would lose by sitting out the season and also hurting his draft stock value if he returned to the NFL draft next year.

I think the real question is, what were Crabtree and his inner circle thinking at the start of the holdout?  I think they saw weakness in the 49ers organization that they would cave to their demands and offer a contract Crabtree was holding out for.  Some examples are former number one pick Alex Smith and the guaranteed money that they over paid him and the huge contracts they gave free agents Nate Clements and Justin Smith which were also way overvalued.  Eugene Parker thought he was a good agent and told his client to holdout.  Crabtree thought he was a better player than Hayward-Bey and believed in his agent by holding out.  I think Crabtree and Parker had the fourth week of the season as their line drawn in the sand for them to sign.  Thing is, they thought the 49ers would give in before then.  Instead it was them and now both look silly as the 49ers Faithful and the rest of the NFL wonder, why the long holdout for a contract that was the same as the one initially offered?

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Tags: 2009 Free Agency 49ers 49ers 2009 Training Camp Breaking News: Michael Crabtree Signs With 49ers Crabtree Contract Eugene Parker Jimmy Raye MCT Michael Crab Holdout Michael Crabtree Mike Singletary San Francisco 49ers Scot McCloughan Shaun Hill Who Gave In Scot McCloughan Or Michael Crabtree?

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