A league source tells us that the attempt by agent Eugene Parker to bust the slotting system for receiver Michael Crabtree, the tenth overall pick in the draft, is contributing to the sssslow pace of contracts at the top of the draft.
Per the source, other agents are watching and waiting the Crabtree negotiations, curious as to whether Parker busts the formula. (Mike Klis of the Denver Post made a similar observation earlier today.)
The reason is simple. If Crabtree gets more than what he’s supposed to get at No. 10, then other players will try to get even more, based on the contract Crabtree actually gets at No. 10.
And this gets back to the reality that CAA and Athletes First represent, between them, 14 of 32 first-round picks. Success by Crabtree would have a magnified impact for these two mega-agencies.
And so those two mega-agencies could be inclined to hold their guys out until Crabtree signs.
The only problem? As we hear it, the Niners won’t flinch on this one.
Then again, it’s hard to believe much of anything that we hear when it comes to first-round contracts.