Without stereotyping anyone, Michael Crabtree was put on this earth to be a wide receiver in the game of football. That’s not an insult, as in “That’s all he’s good for - or at” - it’s a compliment. It’s saying that, of all the people in this world, there are only a handful in the class of Michael Crabtree when it comes to catching footballs.
In fact, that was the feeling of the experts - those in the NFL - who get to select players based on their ability. Of the hundreds of players drafted in the past year’s NFL draft, Michael Crabtree was the tenth (10th) player chosen. Yet, he’s not doing the job he is meant to do.
Why not? Because he’s taking a stand, drawing a line in the sand, saying, that he’s not being offered what he thinks he’s worth (and how, exactly, would he know what that is, except for other people telling him)? This is all because a guy named B.J. Raji, who happens to be a defensive tackle, was selected ninth (9th) and signed - and by all indications, was elated to do so - for five years and a total of $28.5 million, with $18M of that guaranteed. Party time!
That’s not the feeling in the Crabtree camp. Granted, going into the draft, Crabtree was projected to go higher, but the demand he’s making (actually, no player ever demands anything, it’s their agent or advisor or consigliore or take your pick of what you want to call the kid’s mouthpiece) is that he needs, deserves and will refuse to play unless he gets, more than Raji. What, did they have a bet - and Crabtree’s a sore loser? If he were drafted 9th and Raji 10th, do you think Raji would be holding out? And if he did, do you think Crabtree would be behind him - or consider him a chump?
It was reported the San Francisco 49ers, the team who drafted the wideout (and by now, undoubtedly, is wondering how they missed this character flaw in the personal interview they had with the wideout) offered to pay him as much as one dollar less than the Packers were paying Raji. And (someone other than) Crabtree turned them down! I’m not sure what he’s paying agent Eugene Parker or “marketer” Mike Ornstein, but this is some really, really bad, expensive advice. Each of those guys are representing other players. Crabtree’s not only not getting paid, he’s not doing what he does best - and, worse yet, not doing what he loves to do! This situation is sadder than sad.
Mike Ornstein made the quote that Crabtree doesn’t really need to play this year because he (Ornstein) got him $750,000 in endorsements. Wait, Crabtree is financially OK because he has 3/4 of a mil. I’m sure Subway execs, one of his endorsements, are absolutely gloating about the coup they scored by signing a guy whose reputation is that of a selfish bastard who, in a time of 10%+ and rising national unemployment spurned an offer of upwards of $5+million per year! Nothing like seeing a greedy SOB that makes you want to go out and buy a $5 footlong.
But, let’s also get something straight. Ornstein says Crabtree is doing fine because $750,000 is plenty of money to live on, but $28 million isn’t enough? My guess is Crabtree didn’t major in logic at Texas Tech - or finance - or common sense! Ornstein also made the quote, “We are not able to do much marketing for him right now because he is not playing.” Wow, that sage counsel is certainly worth whatever percent Crabtree is paying him. It’s amazing that somebody who thinks like that is being paid at all - by a kid who, if he was like any other youngster in the country, grew up dreaming of making great, game winning catches playing on TV for a pro football franchise. And now he is refusing to do it.
He has been fed the line he is being undervalued. The guy who’s really being undervalued is the one who has a set of skills, albeit a different type, but isn’t being given the chance to display them because the economy is such that he just got laid off or, as the 21st century term that’s become so popular, downsized.
How about signing, playing, and then, proving how much you’re worth? Take the mere pittance the Niners are offering and help them win some games! It’s not like anybody expects you to become the greatest receiver in the team’s history. Do that and there won’t be enough money to pay you. As of now, all you’re doing is upsetting your coach, Mike Singletary - and, here’s some good, free and unsolicited advice. That’s a bad idea.
Michael Crabtree, you’re doing possible (probable) irreparable harm to your legacy (which, as of now, is non-existent). I mean, what are you going to do - take a year off and do whatever it is you do next best to catching footballs? Which is . . . ?
As Mark Twain once said:
“Good judgment comes from experience, which comes from, . . . bad judgment.”