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David Fucillo
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David Fucillo

David Fucillo is head writer and editor of Niners Nation.

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As a 49ers fan this is probably not shocking, but signing a contract ASAP is the best career move for Michael Crabtree. The best move would have been doing it before training camp, but obviously that shipped sailed long ago.

However, if he and Eugene Parker really did their due diligence on the 49ers, they would know that the 49ers are an organization that has absolutely no problem rewarding their young talent with contract extensions. You only have to look at Frank Gore, Joe Staley and Parys Haralson (hopefully Patrick Willis will be on that list soon) to name a few. Joe Staley was in the league two years and actually had some struggles his second year and the 49ers still had enough faith in him to extend his deal.

Even if the Jets said they would pay him more if he re-entered the 2010 draft (or worked a trade next March), pro athletes do not make their biggest money on the first contract. It's that second contract where the truly big bucks can come in. And at the same time, even if he turns out to be a bust, barring the tampering allegations, Crabtree will not make more money in the 2010 draft than what is currently on the table. I just can't believe a team high in the first round would roll the dice on him after more than a year of inactivity and a track record of causing problems in contract negotiations.

So Michael, if you're reading this, the smartest thing you can do is sign on the dotted line immediately.

By David Fucillo  |  September 23, 2009; 12:58 AM ET  | Category:  Draft , Free Agency , New York Jets , San Francisco 49ers Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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The 49ers need to start playing hardball with Crabtree at this point of time. And here is what I would do:

1. Still offer him 20 million over 5 years but covert 4 million of that to first year guaranteed salary, i.e., every game he misses costs him a quarter of a million dollars in pay.

2. Tell Crabtree if he plans on re-entering the draft next year, the 49ers will explore trade options after March and prior to the draft, but will NOT allow him to participate in the Combine, work out or interview with other teams prior to the draft. Any team wants to draft him will have to do so sight-unseen.

Posted by: Chuckled | September 23, 2009 11:38 AM

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