As the contract impasse between the San Francisco 49ers and the tenth overall pick in the 2009 draft approaches September 1, a league source tells us that there has been “no contact” between the Niners and Eugene Parker, the agent for receiver Michael Crabtree.
It’s widely believed that Crabtree wants to secure more money in the tenth slot than receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey finagled from the Raiders as the seventh overall pick.
It’s also widely believed that the 49ers won’t pay Crabtree a dime more than the Packers gave to defensive lineman B.J. Raji at the ninth overall slot.
Meanwhile, we’re hearing that Parker is dealing with the Crabtree conundrum on the recruiting trail by blaming the holdout on the player. Parker, we’re told, is pointing to the deal he negotiated for defensive end Tyson Jackson at the third overall slot as proof that Parker is willing and able to negotiate a fair deal for a first-round pick.
We continue to think that the two sides will come together not long before the regular season begins. But we also think that Crabtree won’t have the kind of impact he could have had as a rookie, if he’d merely taken a slotted deal and gotten into camp.
And we recognize the possibility that Crabtree thinks enough of his skills (after all, he said he can run a 4.4 with crutches) that he could re-enter the draft and be picked even higher next year.
We’re still kind of rooting for that, primarily since Peter King has vowed to change his name to Derek Jeter if Crabtree goes into the 2010 draft pool.