We’ve picked up some more details regarding the Michael Crabtree contract, which has been characterized as having a maximum value of $40 million over six years.
And, as expected, Crabtree will never earn $40 million over six years, because if he does enough to earn the $8 million in year-six escalators he also will have done enough to void the sixth year.
Still, the contents of the “superescalator” package (as the NFLPA is describing it) are remarkable. On three occasions in the first five years of the deal: (1) Crabtree must participate in 80 percent of the snaps on offense; (2) Crabtree must qualify for the Pro Bowl; (3) the 49ers must win 14 games; and (4) Crabtree must be named Super Bowl MVP.
Three times in five years.
And, actually, it’s three times in four years, because there’s no way he’ll participate in 80 percent of the snaps this year.
Meanwhile, two Pro Bowls in four years will wipe out the sixth year of the deal.
As one source said, “Why bother even putting the $8 million escalator in the contract?”
The answer is simple. Because it introduces the figure of $40 million into the conversation regarding the deal, which will help agent Eugene Parker persuade future recruits that he wanted a $40 million deal for Crabtree — and that he got it.
Also, we’re told that a whopping $15 million in escalators hinge upon 90-percent participation in all voluntary offseason workouts, which is part of what some are calling the “diva clause.”
Moreover, of the $17 million in guaranteed money, $6.395 of it is guaranteed for injury only.
So if the 49ers decide that Crabtree is a bust, they can avoid more than $10 million in supposedly guaranteed cash.
Bottom line? The raw dollars in the deal are good — if Crabtree sticks around long enough to get them. If he doesn’t perform well or if he doesn’t fully commit to the offseason program each and every year, the financial exposure reduces dramatically.