Thursday, September 24, 2009

Michael Crabtree: NFL Rookie Holdout

"He's a very focused kid. Far more focused than kids his age. He compartmentalizes things. My impression is that in his mind, he's compartmentalized this as saying, 'Hey, my job is to be ready to play when my people put me in position to play.' He doesn't think he's part of that. He's just focused on getting himself physically and mentally ready for the NFL. And he thinks the business side of it -- of signing or not -- is a whole separate issue, and he's not concerning himself with it."

--Trent Dilfer, describing the mental mindset of Michael Crabtree, who is holding out for a larger contract than the team that drafted him, the San Francisco 49ers, are willing to offer. Michael Crabtree, a rookie wide receiver out of Texas Tech University, is considered a great NFL prospect.

The 49ers have offered him $20 million to sign. Crabtree was the second wide receiver taken in the 2009 NFL draft.

Dilfer is a retired NFL quarterback and current broadcaster who has worked out with Crabtree.

Crabtree is being advised by the quartet of Eugene Parker, Crabtree's agent (who represents NFL veterans Hines Ward, Richard Seymour and Larry Fitzgerald), former NFL superstar Deion Sanders, Texas state Sen. Royce West and Crabtree's cousin, David Wells. Wells is in the bail-bonds business, served as a bodyguard for former Dallas Cowboys players Michael Irvin and Adam "Pacman" Jones, and is widely known in the Cowboys organization. Wells says it takes a village to raise a young African-American man, and that he always wanted to make sure Crabtree had someone strong for support.

Many consider Crabtree to be ill-advised and think he is likely to badly hurt his rookie season, if not his career, by holding out. He is the only rookie out of 256 to holdout.

The 49ers have until Nov. 17 to sign him if he's going to play this season. After Aug. 14, the club was no longer permitted to trade Crabtree's rights. The next point he can be traded is at the start of the 2010 trading period on March 5. If Crabtree is not signed and he is not traded, he would go back into the April 2010 draft.

Excerpts from, September 24, 2009.

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