In the wake of signing receiver Michael Crabtree to rookie contract after an extended holdout, the 49ers privately insisted that they would not be dropping their claim of tampering against the Jets.
But some league insiders believed that the Niners would eventually let the matter go, possibly after being nudged by the league office. Comments made in early October by owner Jed York suggested that the team had moved on; York said “it was clear there was some evidence” that the Jets had contacted Crabtree.
Now, well over a month after Crabtree signed, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the claim has been dropped.
It’s possible, in our view, that the Niners abandoned the allegation after being informed by the league that the investigation yielded no evidence of tampering. It’s also possible that the 49ers opted to stand down in exchange for some wink-nod promise from the league, like a chance to host the next Thanksgiving night game.
Either way, the case is closed — regardless of whether “there was some evidence” that the Jets broke the rules.