FOOCH'S NOTE 3:35pm: Welcome to all the folks coming over from the Yahoo Sports article on the Crabtree/Parker shenanigans. Feel free to explore the site. If you want to join in our discussion, registration is free and easy (link down at the bottom of the page). If you have any questions, leave a comment, or email me at email@example.com.
FOOCH'S UPDATE 1:45pm: As was pointed out in the comments, Crabtree's agent Eugene Parker has come out and said no such threats were made. As this drags on it shouldn't be surprising that more and more opinions are thrown out there, be it family, friend or otherwise.
Parker: "You've known me a long time and I'm not a guy who makes threats. Nor am I a guy who negotiates in the public. I don't know where this came from but no such threat has been made.
This is indeed turning into a soap opera. Now we've got the "cousin/adviser" offering up a new threat. Just to be clear, the comments mentioned by ESPN are by Michael Crabtree's cousin and "adviser" David Wells and not by agent Eugene Parker. According to Wells:
"We are prepared to [sit out this season re-enter the NFL Draft in 2010]," Wells said. "Michael just wants fair-market value. They took him with the 10th pick and you have Darrius Heyward-Bay getting $38 million? This week is crucial. Michael was one of the best players in the draft and he just wants to be paid like one of the best players. This week is very crucial."
Before getting in a huff over these comments, I want to know what Crabtree's agent Eugene Parker has to say about this. It's obviously just a threat at this point, but if Parker and Crabtree are prepared to play this out to that conclusion, we are officially in the midst of quite the game of chicken.
One problem with this quotation from Wells is that it's not entirely clear what he's saying. Does he mean Crabtree should get more than DHB or what exactly? The story says "Wells said he believes the Niners have made an offer but that it is not acceptable." If Wells only "believes" a contract offer was made, how much does he really know about the situation?
Nothing annoys me more than when somebody with NO business in a situation decides to interject himself. When amateur athletes go pro in just about any sport you get the folks hanging around hoping for some crumbs from the big boy table. The question is whether Wells is one of those guys. Maybe he has Michael Crabtree's best interests in mind, but I think it's reasonable to be a bit skeptical of Wells' motives. Is it really in Michael Crabtree's best interests to re-enter the draft next year? I would imagine he would go further down the draft board having not played football for over a year. If that's the case, he's getting even less slot money and there's no way a team later in the first round (if even then) is willing to pay him the kind of money he's being offered now.
At this point, until we get some further clarification, I really don't know where this situation is going or how it will play out. Either way, it might just get worse before it gets better.