Michael Crabtree’s agent has made the threat that if they do not get the contract that they want they will sit out 2009 and re-enter the NFL draft in 2010. According to NFL rules the San Francisco 49ers own Crabtree’s rights for a full year after selecting him 10th overall in the first round of 2009.
Crabtree was rated as the number one Wide receiver prospect of the 2009 draft, but the Oakland Raiders reached way down beyond him to select Darius Heyward Bey with the 7th overall pick. The Raiders signed Bey to a five year 38.25 million dollar deal with 23.5 million of that in guaranteed salary.
Crabtree wants a contract bigger than that to reflect his position as the highest rated wide out prospect of 2009. However that is not how things work in the NFL. Draft picks are paid on a slotting/scale system. Based on where he was drafted, what position he plays, and on what the congruent pick from the previous drafts were paid.
Based on that formula Crabtee should be due a five year20 million dollar contract with 15 million or so in guarantees. Apparently that is not going to be enough to satisfy Crabtree and his agent. However re-entering the draft a year later could be a total disaster for Crabtree.
In recent memory only one player has sat out a year and then been drafted within the top 10. That player, Mike Williams, was drafted 10th overall by the Detroit Lions and to call that pick a farce it being a little too nice. At this point the only real alternative for Crabtree would be to play the six game season of the new United Football League and hope one of their four teams pay him a significant amount of money.
Other than that Crabtree is going to have to reconcile the fact that he was not the first wide out drafted and accept the salary that goes along with his draft status