Crabtree trade: 'I don't think we would do that'
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
49ers president Jed York shared a few thoughts on the Michael Crabtree situation during his recent appearance on KNBR radio.
York alluded to the 2003-2004 stalemate between the Texans and Drew Henson, which ended with Houston trading the quarterback to Dallas nearly 11 months after drafting him. But York said the 49ers would not pursue such an outcome.
York: The Texans drafted Drew Henson and traded him to Dallas, so there is a precedent for that, but that is not something we are considering. We've got two first-round draft picks next year. From my standpoint, if you are not going to spend the money on the draft pick this year, I think we have a lot of young guys that are talented that are going to get contract extensions at some point. I don't know if having three first-round draft choices makes us better or if we reinvest that money back into our team in guys we know. I think we feel pretty good that we have two first-round picks next year. We have a lot of leverage either to move up in the draft, to get two guys where we are, to figure out, 'Do we want to trade one of those picks for someone established already?' We've got enough firepower next year in the draft. I don't think we would do that.
York, responding to a question about whether Deion Sanders' recent comments harmed the process, also suggested Crabtree's stock would fall for reasons beyond the receiver's control if Crabtree entered the 2010 draft.
York: I don't think it harms the process, but we retain Michael's rights until the (2010) draft. So, the worst-case scenario, he doesn't sign, he re-enters the draft. The thing that is tough in that situation, Michael can't work out for anybody. He can't have contact with any of the 31 other teams, and when you do talk about the 10 unnamed GMs that decided they would not have drafted Michael Crabtree [over various concerns], I would have to imagine that that number of guys who didn't draft him increases if you can't talk to him, you can't work him out, you don't know what is going on . I don't think that helps their side of the situation, but from my standpoint, I don't think we are going to get there. I think Michael wants to be a 49er, I think he wants to figure out how to be a part of this and I know he is working hard.
I also think Crabtree will sign with the 49ers sometime this season. To better understand the situation, I recommend reading what Andrew Brandt of the National Football Post wrote recently. A former NFL executive, Brandt provides a definitive analysis of issues likely facing Crabtree and the 49ers. This analysis goes far beyond anything I've seen and qualifies as a must-read for those hoping to better understand these situations and the people involved.
"Despite all the banter about whether Crabtree, the 10th pick in the draft, deserves to be paid like a top five or top seven pick," Brandt writes, "that argument is a nonstarter -- and (agent Eugene) Parker is smart enough to know that."