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Some think tampering case fueled Crabtree deal

As the storm of dust continues to settle regarding the decision of Michael Crabtree to show up unannounced in San Fran to work out a new deal, a source with knowledge of the situation believes that the wideout’s holdout ended suddenly not because Crabtree was ready to play football but because of the pending tampering case that the 49ers have filed against the Jets.

The source firmly believes that the investigation was beginning to uncover evidence that the Jets had indeed tampered with Crabtree through his agent, Eugene Parker.  Indeed, it was Parker and G.M. Mike Tannenbaum who once worked together on an offer sheet that the Patriots would not be able to match when the Jets lured running back Curtis Martin from New England to New York.  Per the source, Parker and Tannenbaum continue to have a close and productive working relationship 

Moreover, 49ers owner Jed York recently told KNBR in San Francisco (via ESPN.com) that “it was clear there was some evidence that the Jets talked to [Crabtree],” which in and of itself would be proof of tampering.

The thinking is that, as Tannenbaum (and possibly Deion Sanders) began to feel the heat increasing, Tannenbaum (and possibly Deion Sanders) urged Parker to get a deal done.

Though we’ve been told repeatedly that the 49ers still intend to press the matter (after all, the league made an example out of the Niners for talking to agent Drew Rosenhaus about a long-term contract for linebacker Lance Briggs at a time when the Bears were talking to the Niners about a trade for Briggs), the source predicts that the league office will now nudge the 49ers to let it go.

The argument, the source believes, will be that it’s in the best interests of the league for the tampering allegation to go away, since a finding of such dirty deeds accomplished relatively inexpensively hurts the image of the entire league.  The fact that this is all happening only a few weeks after the Jets were busted for cheating on the injury report makes an exoneration of the Jets this time around even more important.

So the real question is whether that effort to talk the 49ers into simply being happy that they got their player signed already has begun, and whether such efforts will be successful.  In this regard, it’s interesting that York already has used the phrase “there was evidence,” since this implies that the case either is or will soon be formally closed.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello declined comment via e-mail on Saturday regarding whether the tampering case is still pending.

Regardless of the precise reason, the evidence suggests that the Crabtree deal was done very quickly, with less attention to detail.  Last night, we pointed out several aspects of the contract indicating that it possibly was a rush job.

Even if the deal got done because Crabtree decided he was ready to play football, Parker surely would have urged Crabtree to give Parker enough time to ensure that the written document contains all the necessary bells and whistles.  That fact that some deficiencies appear in the contract seems to bolster the belief that there was a separate motivation to get Crabtree under contract ASAFP, and that it possibly was related more to killing the tampering case than to getting Crabtree on a football field.

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25 Responses to “Some think tampering case fueled Crabtree deal”
  1. Garbanzo says: Oct 10, 2009 2:05 PM

    Florio, that all makes sense until you think, and realize, that there really is no reason for pending tampering charges to make Parker do a deal. The punishment goes to the team that did the tampering, not the agent, and it’d be foolish to think a weak GM like Tannenbum could convince an agent of anything.

  2. bearsrule says: Oct 10, 2009 2:18 PM

    That’s a lot of conspiracy. All that’s missing is a second shooter. Goodell has had plenty of time to look into this thing and doesn’t appear to have lifted a finger. Why hasn’t he talked to Neon Deion yet ? There are some big questions to ask and they aren’t being asked. Is the NFL hoping it will go away ? Seems so.

  3. Insomniac says: Oct 10, 2009 2:21 PM

    If I’m the Niner’s organization, I’m thinking that dropping the Lance Briggs stuff would’ve been “in the best interests of the league…since a finding of such dirty deeds accomplished relatively inexpensively hurts the image of the entire league”.

  4. PhD says: Oct 10, 2009 2:26 PM

    The tampering charges need to go forward, because the 49ers have suffered a loss – their first round pick for this season – no training camp, unavailable for the first five games. Just because he’s now signed to a deal that makes his agent look like a moron for helping to drag this out for months only to settle on a worse deal than he could have gotten his client back in the summer, doesn’t mean that a loss hasn’t taken place and if it’s proven it’s in anyway due to the Jets tampering, then ‘the hammer’ needs to come down. The NFL simply cannot just try and sweep this under the rug.

  5. Furious George says: Oct 10, 2009 2:28 PM

    so the league is once again covering up the cheating of the jets just like when they were caught taping in foxboro. disgusting.

  6. NinerNation says: Oct 10, 2009 2:29 PM

    I hate Goodell. That bastard went after the Niners regarding something EVERY(Dolphins, Justin Smiley, Redskins, Albert Haynesworth) team does just to make an example.
    Now all of a sudden he wants to protect the leagues image? That’s BS and I hope the Niners make sure Goodell understands that this is serious, and they want serious compensation. Crabtree missed all of training camp and four regular season games for this crap. The Niners had better be rewarded handsomely for the infraction by the Jets, if Goodell doesn’t come down hard, then he’ll officially be the worst commissioner in sports.

  7. Paul_R. says: Oct 10, 2009 2:39 PM

    Florio, the League might want the 49ers to let it go, but the 49ers shouldn’t. If the Jets are guilty of tampering, it has cost the 49ers a minimum of two months of having Crabtree signed and in camp, prior to the season, and it’s cost the 49ers four games with the rookie on the team and, possibly, able to contribute. Now they’ve got their rookie signed and they’ll be obligated to pay him, but he’s nowhere near ready to play in an NFL game. Like training camp and preseason, he’ll need a few weeks before he’ll be ready.
    And, if the League wants any credibility with the fans, then they need to penalize and make an example of any team that violates the rules. If the Jets are guilty, they should be punished. The “message” should be sent to all teams by the example the League makes out of them.
    _____________________________
    Garbanzo says:
    “Florio, that all makes sense until you think, and realize, that there really is no reason for pending tampering charges to make Parker do a deal.”
    Garbanzo, which team would want to sign Crabtree to any contract better than what the 49ers were offering? If they tried, it would definitely show that Parker knew that another team would offer more and he could keep Parker from holding out for the whole season and re-enter the draft. The only way for every team to avoid a tampering charge by the 49ers would be to either avoid Crabtree altogether or to draft him much lower in the draft and offer him less than what he could have earned this year. But, then Crabtree would have no incentive to hold out.
    His only incentive is if he knew he’d get better than what the 49ers were offering. But, for him to know, it had to be discussed, and discussing it is tampering.
    Signing with the 49ers was Crabtree’s only choice. Nothing else works for him.

  8. stanjam says: Oct 10, 2009 2:41 PM

    Sure it makes sense for the deal to be made in order for the tampering to go away. Goodell has been avoiding repeated charges of cheating by his old team. He finally allowed a token punishment to go against the Jets for cheating. Now he has to try and protect his former employer from a tampering case where there is apparently good evidence. How do you do that? The 49ers won’t drop it until they get their receiver, at their price. So the NFL turns up pressure on Parker, who has been using relationships with NFL employees (Deion Sanders) to get players under his thumb. Deal done.
    It looks like the Jets will get away with cheating…again. I surely hope they do not. I hope that Goodell is finally forced to make a true example of his former employer. That would go a long way to quell the feeling among fans that Goodell is inconsistent with punishments and lets his favorites get away with murder.

  9. Sonoco says: Oct 10, 2009 2:42 PM

    For a little perspective . . . . the Shield survived the Niners tampering penalty just fine. It will be only in the best interest of the Jets if the tampering charge goes away. We’ll find out shortly if the shield covers the entire league, or stops just West of Dallas.
    http://sfo.scout.com/2/740323.html

  10. FastEddy415 says: Oct 10, 2009 2:47 PM

    Niners should continue the case. This deal could have been done along time ago if it wasnt for the Jets. Out of nowhere Crabtree demands increased and we all know why.
    Isnt Goodell a former Jet executive? I believe so. And thats why he wants this case to vanish more than punishing his former team once again. BOGUS. Jets need to made an example like the niners were. SO all this tampering crap ends for good.

  11. leatherneck says: Oct 10, 2009 2:53 PM

    So will the 49ers get the Jets’ 1st round draft pick next year?

  12. PFTiswhatitis says: Oct 10, 2009 3:10 PM

    Jets and tampering is like lemonade in summer. It doesn’t matter what Goodell does. The Jets will continue their scurrilous ways, certainly as long as Tannenbaum remains in power.

  13. SmackMyVickUp says: Oct 10, 2009 3:41 PM

    since a finding of such dirty deeds accomplished relatively inexpensively hurts the image of the entire league.
    ——————
    Two huge off season issues hurt the league more than any tampering can.
    Two convicted felons indefinite suspensions lifted and dropped to two games and one year.
    Substance abuse is a stiffer penalty than a felony. Get caught with substance abuse twice – one year suspension is same as running someone down while drunk.
    Hard to demand accountability from owners who are interested in making money when the league itself shows its main prerogative is making money. Regardless of the crimes most businesses draw the line with felonies. So much for “high” standards.
    No honor among thieves.

  14. Paul_R. says: Oct 10, 2009 3:51 PM

    SmackMyVickUp says:
    “Hard to demand accountability from owners who are interested in making money when the league itself shows its main prerogative is making money. Regardless of the crimes most businesses draw the line with felonies. So much for “high” standards.”
    Yeah, what exactly IS the League doing with the Tom Cable ASSAULT & BATTERY?

  15. LanMan says: Oct 10, 2009 3:51 PM

    This was as predictable as the morning sunrise. The Jets continue to scrap the bottom of the barrel for their daily bread. The reason the league looks the other way is because they are a New York team in the shadow of the Giants, with enormous numbers of expensive seat licenses to sell in the new stadium they rent from the Giants. Everything they do is to sell those seat licenses. In this economy, the NFL does not want a team like that going under. So, they continue to look the other way. The Jets are wreckless though. It’s like they have gotten way too cocky on what they can get away with. They also tampered with Brandon Marshall of the Broncos. They finally filled their need taking advantage of Braylon Edwards recent skirmish with the law.
    Recall that they were the team that was filming the Patriots illegally. They had more cameras out than the league allows. The Pats asked them to stop. Then, when they played in NY, they blocked the Patriots from having a legitimate camera in the end zone for practice film purposes (like all teams do). The Patriots brought the camera to the sideline instead (a rule violation) and then got in trouble, but it was the Jets being the J-E-T-S, doing the actual CHEATING in the first place that caused it all.
    How about that hit by Sanchez against the Saints? He throws a pick six, can’t catch the guy, see’s the Saint players coming down the field, who graciously chose to NOT crush him, and what does he do? He throws himself at their knees, for no known reason other than to injure.
    I call this move “THE DIRTY SANCHEZ.”
    The play was over. They gave him grace by not crushing his a@@. He takes advantage and tried to injure them “just because.” What does he get? A paltry $5000 fine from the league. A pittance compared to his monster salary. Rex Ryan probably will pay it for him. Ryan is the same guy that issued bounties for injuring players.
    Remember, the JETS are the same organization that tampered with Curtis Martin, and also with Bill Parcells DURING the Super Bowl preparations in 96.
    The JETS are, and always have been the dung heap of the NFL and Home of The L-O-S-E-R-S!!!

  16. pffffft says: Oct 10, 2009 3:55 PM

    Your move, Goodell. Everyone’s been watching. Do your job and hammer the Jets and Tannenbaum. Don’t be a hypocrite and put this back on the 49ers to drop the charges.

  17. Terry says: Oct 10, 2009 3:59 PM

    If the conspiracy theory is true, Crabtree has a hell of a law suit against Parker AND the League for damages!

  18. Phokus says: Oct 10, 2009 4:11 PM

    Wouldn’t surprise me one bit. Goodell grew up a Jets fan, right?

  19. Strongsideblitz says: Oct 10, 2009 4:44 PM

    I was under the impression that this was in the leagues hands. It is not up to the Niners to “press” or “drop” charges. The case has been presented. It’s the league’s move.
    JQ

  20. tacious says: Oct 10, 2009 4:52 PM

    I’ll be right back… I forgot to grab my tin foil hat for this conversation.
    Some of you are really funny. This is all speculation thus far; there is no tangible proof of anything.
    As usual though, Mike Florio… notorious hater of the Jets… goes and creates some sensational scoop in his PFT studio/ parents garage.

  21. jackleary says: Oct 10, 2009 4:55 PM

    im willing to bet both the agent and the jets GM had something to do with the fact that crabtree didnt sign until week 4. they should pursue this to its fullest extent and give the jest exactly what they got by losing draft picks for screwing with theirs.

  22. SF Saints Fan says: Oct 10, 2009 5:53 PM

    Florio is speculating that the league has put it back on the Niners as to whether to drop the tampering case against the Jets because that would be in “the best interest of the league”.
    If Florio is correct, the Niners should not only not drop the tampering case, but should move forward on it more aggressively. Crabtree is now under contract with the Niners, presumably if he was brought into the GM’s office and was asked point blank whether the Jets ever made an offer to him he would be able to answer the question. If the answer is yes, then the Niners should go after the J-E-T-S, H-A-R-D.
    The Niners were slapped in the Lance Briggs matter and lost a draft pick, this case, if true, is far worse than that. This is potentially a case where a team (the Jets) tried to prevent a draftee of another team (the Niners) from signing his rookie contract. If this is true, this allegation goes to the heart of the draft and fair competition in the league and should be investigated fully and punishment, if true, should be a loss of the Jets first round draft pick in 2010 and forfeiture of that pick to the Niners.
    Tampering with a draftee is far worse than tampering with a veteran because they have not accomplished anything yet with their new team and need to be in camp early to learn the system and get some reps with their teammates. If the allegations are “true” and the Niners are pressured by Goodell and his goon squad to drop the charges, then the Niners should “hint” to the Jets #1 pick next year that they are willing to pay him $100 million guaranteed if he signs with the Niners instead. I seriously doubt the league office would “pressure” the Jets into dropping that tampering case and we would see where the true allegiance of the league office really lies!
    Again, I ask, how many league front office types have season tickets to the Giants or the Jets? And do you think they want “their” home teams to win?

  23. TheFoo says: Oct 10, 2009 5:55 PM

    No reason for Parker to make a deal? If suddenly the other team holding things up hoping for a forced trade or redraft now has zero chance of making a deal happen, that’s every reason to get in there and get a contract done!
    Not only that, but it’s hardly coincidental that the minute Crabtree signs, the Jets trade for Edwards. Was hoping to see that angle in the article as well. A guy who has been silently on the block for weeks. And the Jets don’t make a move for anyone until literally within 24 hours of Crabtree being completely unavailable?

  24. tom coughlin's coat holder says: Oct 10, 2009 6:55 PM

    just watch what happens down the road,mark my words,crabtree will fire parker,hire rosenhaus and then demand a new contract.
    the basis of the nullification of the old contract will be the fact that all parties were forced to settle the original contract under duress i.e. park avenue said to get the thing done,make the matter go away.

  25. Patsfan1776 says: Oct 10, 2009 7:24 PM

    I think you need to believe that the NFL did the following:
    1. Forced Crabtree to sign with the 49ers quickly.
    2. As a penalty the Jets had to take Edwards even though he will be suspended 4 games shortly.
    3. Lastly, the Browns will get to move the franchise.

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