After 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree signed his rookie contract earlier this month, it was believed in some league circles that the tampering allegations made by the 49ers against the Jets would quietly disappear.
And, by all appearances, they have.
Per a league source, however, they haven’t.
The source says that the investigation is proceeding. Details as to who has and hasn’t been interviewed are sketchy. Because the league office has no jurisdiction over players or agents in matters of this nature, Crabtree and his representative, Eugene Parker, have the right to refuse to cooperate.
The wild card in this equation is Deion Sanders. Technically, he’s a league employee, via his relationship with NFL Network. So he could be compelled to talk.
And he already did talk, to an extent, during an interview earlier this month with NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora. Sanders claimed that he simply inferred that two other teams were willing to pay Crabtree wanted because, as Sanders explained it, Parker told him that two teams were willing to make a trade for Crabtree’s rights.
But if that’s true, why would the 49ers tell Parker that other teams are interested in trading for Crabtree, if the obvious inference becomes that those two teams will pay Crabtree what he wants? If the Niners’ goal was to get Crabtree signed, the worst thing they could have done would have been to let him know that other teams are willing to give him what he wants.
So, for now, the bottom line is that the investigation has not gone away. Whether it results in a penalty for the Jets remains to be seen.