Money Doesn't Grow On Crabtrees

Matt MCorrespondent IJuly 30, 2009

SANTA CLARA, CA - MAY 01:  Michael Crabtree #15 of the San Francisco 49ers looks on at practice during the 49ers Minicamp at their training facilities on May 1, 2009 in Santa Clara, California. Crabtree was the 49ers first round draft pick.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

With the 49ers’ training camp rookie report date a day overdue, one 49ers' rookie appears to be missing in action. I’ll give you a hint; it’s not Brett Favre… nor Michael Vick

The, dare I say “crabby” tenth overall draft pick, Michael Crabtree, has yet to reach a satisfactory contractual agreement with the 49ers’ front office. 

Now some may call it greed on behalf of Michael Crabtree who willingly hired Eugene Parker, and is therefore ultimately responsible for such a difference in contractual opinion. 

I call it Eugene Parker being Eugene Parker.

To those NFL fans unfamiliar with Eugene Parker, consider yourself (and corresponding NFL team) fortunate. He is the godfather of the holdout. The man feels towards training camp how Allen Iverson does towards practice and Jim Mora Sr. towards playoffs. 

Let’s do a quick NFL history lesson. 

Last offseason, a Chicago Bears’  punt returner, vowed to hold out an entire season if his contractual demands were not met. Though the holdout was short, at just 2 days, the punt returner and situational wide receiver was paid a Pro Bowl wide receiver’s salary at close to $10 million per year. 

His name: Devin Hester. His agent: Eugene Parker.

That same offseason, a St. Louis Rams’ running back and offensive centerpiece held out of an entire offseason of OTA’s and 27 days worth of training camp and preseason football. 

His name: Steven Jackson. His agent: Eugene Parker.

Not to be outdone that offseason, a certain Buffalo Bills’ left tackle held out an entire offseason of OTA’s, training camp, AND preseason games.  In fact, this blindside protector didn’t sign until September 5th, the very same week of the Bill’s first regular season game. 

His name: Jason Peters. His agent: Eugene Parker.

As Karl Marx once said, “History repeats itself.”  

What historians didn’t realize, was that Marx was referring to a certain greedy NFL agent (not the tragic history of mankind as what was once rumored). 

It’s safe to say that Parker switched over to Netflix after nearly being bankrupted by Blockbuster late fees. Unfortunately for the 49ers, Crabtree is a non-contracted rookie, and therefore cannot be docked a similar contractual fine. 

According to Parker, Michael Crabtree should be getting paid like a top three overall draft selection. His justification: Michael Crabtree should have been a top three overall pick

The reality, Mr. Parker, is that Michael Crabtree was not a top three overall draft pick.  No team picking in the top nine selections thought so. In fact, there were nine teams eagerly looking to trade out of the top ten, and not one other team in the NFL thought there was a player worth trading up to grab at any of the top ten selections (besides Marky Mark Sanchez of course). 

Yes, Michael Crabtree’s should have been a top three selection. Just like the generic horror movie victim should have avoided the cemetery late night... but he didn't.

The truth is every draft has twice as many deserving draftees vying for half as many spots. You can’t reward every player that is deserving of a selection because you could never objectively define a player’s value beyond their draft selection, nor would it be fair to the player’s who were actually drafted at that selection.

If the number ten selection should be paid like a number three selection, then what should the number three selection get paid?

Funny you should ask Mr. Parker, considering you also represent Tyson Jackson, who was the third overall pick (reach) that turned the top ten draft world upside down. Are you going to demand 15th pick salary for Jackson? After all, that’s about where he deserved to go following a disappointing end to his collegiate career.

The thought of Eugene Parker disputing draft value with an NFL front office executive should be about as ridiculous as Mel Kiper advising the late Bill Walsh.

Your opinion on draft selection would matter Mr. Parker, if you were actually an NFL front office executive. Until then, stick to what you do worst, and get your athletes signed in time.

Count on Eugene Parker to be the one to swallow the jail key of an increasingly inevitable 2011 NFL lockout.  

He certainly won’t be on any Christmas card lists at 4949 Centennial Blvd.