It could have been a lot worse.
Sure, the contract negotiations with Aaron Curry were a little more difficult and drawn-out than originally anticipated. And yes, Curry was compensated with a monster deal that is bigger than the contracts of superstars like Matt Hasselbeck and Walter Jones – even though the contract was pretty much par for the course.
But what if Curry wasn’t available when the Seahawks went on the clock last April? What if they opted to select Michael Crabtree, the flashy wide receiver from Texas Tech?
I never thought that Crabtree-to-Seattle was a real possibility, but the hype surrounding the likelihood of the selection couldn’t be ignored. Crabtree, arguably the best wide receiver available in the 2009 class and a top-five selection any year, was a perfect match for Seattle, who struggled through injuries and inefficiency the previous year. Not to mention Seattle has been deprived of a true playmaker at the position for at least a couple of years.
In the weeks leading up to the draft, new head coach Jim Mora apparently developed a “mancrush” on Michael Crabtree. This platonic relationship was triggered after Mora watched film of Crabtree, and was excited by his run blocking ability.
Tim Ruskell had also noted that with the fourth overall selection, he was looking to draft a player who would have an immediate impact on Sundays. Aside from Aaron Curry, Michael Crabtree was one of the few available prospects who could contribute immediately and quickly develop into a playmaker in the league.
With the Crabtree-to-Seattle hype growing, sensible fans in Seattle recognized it as a possibility, but still realized that it was a long-shot.
Tim Ruskell prefers not to select players who declare early for the NFL Draft, favoring four-year contributors from big schools in high-profile conferences. Michael Crabtree declared for the draft after his sophomore campaign, but he did post unbelievable numbers while competing in the Big-12 at Texas Tech.
Tim Ruskell also puts a great emphasis on character, and will not touch players with even the slightest blemish on their resume. Although Crabtree didn’t have any trouble with the law, his character painted the picture of a future NFL Prima Donna. Although that isn’t illegal, it definitely doesn’t support team chemistry and could be harmful to a franchise’s image.
Crabtree’s work ethic was also questionable, and Ruskell prefers high energy players who give one-hundred percent every snap. Crabtree seemed to be lazily preparing for his future in the NFL while recovering from a leg injury (yet another red flag).
Although there were plenty of reasons for Seattle to not draft Crabtree, he was arguably the best playmaker available in the draft. And for the Seahawks, there was an obvious need for his services.
So what if Curry didn’t fall to Seattle and the Seahawks opted to select Crabtree?
A lot of Seattle fans would’ve applauded the selection, and quickly lined up to purchase Michael Crabtree jerseys.
That is, until contract negotiations “began”.
Michael Crabtree is obviously irritated that he wasn’t the first wide receiver selected, and is envious of the contract Darrius Heyward-Bey received from the Oakland Raiders. His arrogance has him believing he deserves the top-five money when he was drafted tenth overall by San Francisco.
In fact, Michael Crabtree is reportedly willing to sit out the entire season and re-enter the 2010 NFL Draft if his unreasonable expectations aren’t met. And to think we were beginning to worry about Curry reporting to camp on time.
Crabtree and his agent think that achieving a huge contract will make up for Crabtree’s low selection, but the 49ers aren’t playing along. And Crabtree’s agent won’t budge, because obtaining an unreasonably large contract isn’t only in the best interests of his client, but will also provide future leverage against competing agencies.
I’m glad Seattle isn’t a part of this mess. And I’m not too upset that a division rival is left to deal with the Crabtree dilemma.
If Crabtree really thinks sitting out for a year is the best idea, then he is truly mistaken. He needs to stop acting so arrogant and seek some real advice; it is obvious his agent is seeking a larger deal for his own benefit.
Either way, I’m glad we’ve got Aaron Curry. Yeah, he was eight days late, but it could have been a lot worse.