The League

Anthony Stalter
National Blogger

Anthony Stalter

Senior Sports Editor for The Scores Report

An Open Letter to Michael Crabtree

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Mr. Crabtree,

I'm writing to you not as a professional adviser, your friend or even as someone who has your best interests at heart. I don't know you, so I'd be lying if I said I had any kind of personal stake in your career.

But viewing this as an outsider, I have to warn you that you've been getting some bad advice somewhere along the way. I've been keeping track of your situation in San Francisco and I've got to tell you, you could be making one of the biggest mistakes of your life.

You see, you need to show more humility, Mr. Crabtree. Your agent came to the conclusion a long time ago that you were a top 3 pick and, thus, should be paid as such. But you weren't a top 3 pick - you were the 10th overall pick and while that should have motivated you to prove yourself on the field, you've shown that you're more concerned with money than with playing football.

That's disappointing to me. As a sports fan, I appreciate it when athletes don't hold out and they accept market value for their services. I appreciate it when they prove their worth on the field and allow the money situation to take care of itself.

Perhaps the most ironic thing about this situation is that while you believe you're a top 3 pick, many scouts disagree. You make difficult catches look routine and you've proven to be a threat after making the catch. But you played in system in college that allowed you to make plays in open space and you don't have the deep speed that pro scouts look for in a receiver chosen in the top 3. You haven't yet proven that you can grasp an NFL playbook, run an NFL-caliber route or beat an NFL-caliber corner off the line. So why should the 49ers pay you more than your market value? It would be a poor business decision, because they no doubt would run into a similar issue down the road with another prospect who thinks he can get more money than what his draft slot commands.

Don't get it twisted, Mr. Crabtree - I think you could be a very good player at the next level, if not a great player. But your diva attitude has turned a lot of people off and what you and your agent fail to realize is that there are no guarantees in life. Sure, you could hold out for an entire season and re-enter the draft next year in hopes of becoming a top 3 pick. By why would any team select you that high knowing that 1) they'll have to deal with you and your agent in terms of setting up a contract and 2) that you missed a year of development?

You want to be paid like Larry Fitzgerald, yet you haven't accomplished what he's accomplished. The rookie salary structure is already screwed up and you want even more money than what your draft slot is worth? Come on, Mr. Crabtree.

Chances are that you stand to make significantly less money next year than what the 49ers are willing to pay you now. Is it worth it? Is it worth missing a year of football and potentially losing millions of dollars? Is that a smart move for either your career or your financial situation?

Wake up. Time is running out. Every week you don't play is another week where you become less valuable to San Francisco and to other teams around the league. Every week you don't play is another week where the currently undefeated 49ers realize that they can live without you.

Take this for what it's worth: As an outsider, I think you're making a mistake. Receivers are a dime a dozen in the NFL and you shouldn't hold your breath thinking that a team would choose you over Brandon LaFell, Mardy Gilyard, Eric Decker or any other top receiving prospect who enters the 2010 draft class.

It's time for you to start being realistic. Sign San Francisco's deal and just play football already.

Signed,
An Outsider

By Anthony Stalter  |  September 23, 2009; 3:48 PM ET  | Category:  Draft , New York Jets , San Francisco 49ers Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Suck It Up, Michael | Next: Crabtree is Felonious

Comments

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I couldn't agree more. Get out there MR Crabtree and man-up. And for Heavens sake please make a rookie salary cap so this kind of thing won't happen as often.

Posted by: Bay44 | September 23, 2009 5:41 PM

Seriously show more humility, and seriously don't listen to Eugene Parker.

Posted by: KMac3000 | September 23, 2009 8:19 PM

Thanks for telling it like it is.... these pro athletes are full of themselves and expect these huge contracts before they set foot on the field. Perhaps Mr. Crabtree should take your advice, or better still, he should hire YOU as his agent. If he is smart he'll jump on the Mike Singletary bandwagon and be a part of a very successful organization for many years. Excellent, well-written article.

Posted by: saldok32 | September 24, 2009 8:10 AM

I couldn't agree more. While I understand payday is why we all show up for work, we all get paid according to our experience and value which is usually previously proven. The chance of a lifetime has been offered to you to prove your proffesional worth, I would take it before they sober up.

Posted by: Tbone3 | September 24, 2009 8:43 AM

why is it that when a player wants to get a fair contract and holds out, he is stupid, greedy and selfish, but when a owner refuses to pay a player a fair wage no one calls the owner stupid, greedy or selfish, the owner is " PRUDENT AND FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE ".
TELL ME SOMETHING WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME A OWNER LOST MONEY? THE NFL HAS THE WORST PENSION OF ANY PRO SPORTS, FORMER PLAYERS, SOME DISABLED, CAN BARELY PAY THEIR BILLS, WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE AT HOW THEY ARE BEING TREATED. NOW THE OWNERS ARE THREATENING TO LOCK THE PLAYERS OUT IF THEY DON'T GIVE UP A SHARE OF THEIR PERCENTAGE OF THE REVENUE. THE OWNERS MAKE REVENUE FROM TV ( A MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR CONTRACT SPLIT 32 WAYS) PARKING, MEMORABILIA, CONCESSIONS AND SPONSORS, SO WHY ARE THEY CRYING BROKE.

Posted by: gphillips11221 | September 25, 2009 8:17 AM

Ok the last posting must be from Crabtrees clown team.

While I have ZERO issues with a proven athlete collecting as much as they can . There is a BIG difference between proven athletes and Crabtree.

Crabtree has proven NOTHING!!!!!!! but that he is sad to say plain STUPID!!!

Should he sit out the year and enter the draft in 2010, he will not go top 20. If he is lucky he will go last in the 1st round maybe as far as the 3rd round.

Now that the 49ers have filed tampering charges, no team (Jets or Dallas) will touch him with a 100ft pole. As the NFL will slap them harshly and lanch a deeper investigation with sevre penalties. I hope we get a pick from teh jets (Justice woudl be if teh Jets tampering is true. To have teh Jets swap picks. Crabtree for Sanchez LOL). He now stands to lose everything becuase he does not have manhood to tell his family/agent to take a flying jump. By now both crabtree and Eugen the joke parker should realize that they have lost this battle and if not careful the war.

They should beg the niners to to still offer crabtree same deal.

I am and have always been a DIE hard 49er fan. I like many are tired of his ignorance and I am not sure he fits with the teams chemistry, unless he is incredibly humble about this whole situatin shows and proves it beyong a reasonble doubt to the fans and the team.

It is sad to see that he has so much being offered to him, but becuase he has the wrong crowd around him. He will turn out to be a simply memory of that idiot that threw his career away and a lifestly we all dream about as football fans. He will endup with a job that in no way will provide him what he turned down. A few years from now he will be one of those that come up in a story of where are they now? Sad sad sad

Posted by: ralphrom | September 25, 2009 4:01 PM

Great article. I like the fact that you tell it like it is with out being ugly. I could not agree with article more. I feel that Crabtree is flushing his career down the toilet. I think that his advisers are not being smart and Mike is going to pay for it, He could not do any better than to have Singletary as his couch, if anyone could help him get his dignity back it is the coach. He is going to need a coach with backbone to help him rebuild what is left of his NFL career. Mike, I am not being ugly like a lot of other fans, even though I agree with them. Please, I hope you are reading these, and decide to do the right thing. You can be a great player if you choose to make your own decisions and sign with the 49ers. They look to be headed back to their glory years. Be a man! Make a difference! Prove your worth!

Posted by: dinks1 | September 26, 2009 2:10 PM

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