One San Francisco 49ers free agent who has flown entirely under the radar is wide receiver Michael Crabtree. We have heard no rumors connecting him with any team. That appears to be changing. ESPN NFL reporter John Keim is reporting Washington has expressed interest in Crabtree, but the San Diego Chargers might be a stronger possibility.
Given the recent silence, I figured there was a small chance Crabtree could return on a smaller "prove it" deal, in a similar fashion to Dashon Goldson. However, as Matt Maiocco pointed out, his best chance to prove something on a one-year deal would be elsewhere. The 49ers have already acknowledged they want to run the ball quite a bit. Additionally, adding Torrey Smith to the mix and hopefully having a healthy Vernon Davis means fewer targets for Crabtree.
From a financial perspective, it makes more sense to find a place with more opportunities. I don't know if Washington is that place with DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon and Andre Roberts. San Diego makes sense. They have Keenan Allen, but after that there are some fairly significant opportunities with Philip Rivers at the helm.
If Crabtree departs and gets anything resembling a decent contract, the 49ers will be looking at a fourth compensation pick. As things currently stand, Mike Iupati and Torrey Smith cancel each other out. The team is looking at a fourth round pick for Chris Culliver, and sixth round picks for Dan Skuta and Frank Gore.
Over The Cap has their projections, which provide potential base lines for what average annual salaries get what picks. There will be minor adjustments for playing time and postseason honors, but average annual salary is the primary factor. The highest and lowest salaries for each round is as follows:
3rd: $19M, $9.2M
4th: $8M, $5,937,500
5th: $5.5M, $4.775M
6th: $4.1M, $2,666,667
7th: $2,333,333, $810k