The whole way Michael Crabtree’s holdout was handled was an embarrassment. First off, we hadn’t seen nor heard from the kid forever. Secondly, there was information circulating that he was considering reentering the draft if the 49ers didn’t meed his demands. Then, with the Niners going 3-1 to start the season, Crabtree lost what little leverage he had, and instead he had to cave and crawl back to the team and accept a contract offer that was available back in July. So not only did he not accomplish his goal of earning more money but he also hurt himself in the process by missing vital practices and training camp time, essentially losing a whole year of his career.
Throughout the process it became clear that Crabtree was getting poor advice and that he forgot the cardinal rule about agents: they work for the players meaning Crabtree is Eugene Parker’s boss, not the other way around. If Crabtree were thinking for himself, he would have had Parker hammer out the deal before the season started when it became clear the 49ers weren’t budging. Anyway, the speculation that Crabtree’s getting poor advice was confirmed by his introductory news conference on Wednesday.
For starters, Michael’s agent wasn’t present, leaving Crabtree high and dry to face the media firing squad. That really didn’t even matter because Crabtree was so schooled and coached up to answer questions. If you watched or heard any of it (which you can at the 49ers website), you would see that this kid was taught to recite the cliches worse than Nuke Laloosh. Crabtree didn’t directly answer any question he was asked. Once he heard a keyword such as “training camp,” “fans,” or “holdout,” he had a ready-made answer prepared. It was like watching a robot, not a person. It’s so clear that someone else is puppeting this guy it’s embarrassing (read all the examples below). And after seeing that display it’s no surprise that Mike Singletary almost made him cry.
This exchange was my favorite:
Reporter: Michael, why was it worth it to hold out all that time and to sign today?
Crabtree: Well I’m just glad I’m past that part … (gets cut off)
Reporter: I understand, but what did you gain from it?
Crabtree: Oh! Oh! (That’s right, this is what I’m supposed to say) I’m very humble right now, it’s a very humbling experience. Just getting the chance to sit back and better myself as a person, a player, a teammate …
Reporter: So you’re saying holding out all those days made you humble?
Crabtree: I’m not just saying it made me humble but it was a very humbling experience. Going through that, it made me look at the world a different way … hopefully it will work out for the best.
Different Reporter: There have been reports that you might re-enter the draft next year, was there any validity to those or were you confident this would get done?
Crabtree: My whole approach was get better — every day. I never looked at what the media was saying or anything anybody else was saying.
Follow up: Your cousin apparently is someone one who said that. Can you confirm or deny it?
Crabtree: Oh, I’m Michael Crabtree, whatever I say is what I say.Google+