Jan 12, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree (15) warms up before the NFC divisional round playoff game against the Green Bay Packers at Candlestick Park. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco 49ers: Could 2014 Be Michael Crabtree's Last Season as a Niner?

Everyone remembers Michael Crabtree’s contract holdout after being drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the first round in 2009. The wide receiver threatened to sit out his rookie season and re-enter the 2010 NFL Draft before signing a six year, $32 million deal that lasts through 2014.

Crabtree will make $4.5 million next season, then is free to bolt in free agency.

Could the holdout — the longest in 49ers history — foreshadow Crabtree’s exit in 2014?

He would be idiotic not to test the free agent market with his value, catching 85 passes for 1,105 yards last season for nine touchdowns. It was surely a breakout year for Crabtree, who is poised for more success in 2013-2014.

“I’ve been quiet the past four years on who’s the No. 1 receiver,” Crabtree told 49ers.com. “I try not to talk about that, but I’m going into my fifth year. It’s really time to take that responsibility, be No. 1 and go out and do your job and give the fans what they want to see and give the coaches what they expect of you and that’s greatness, or be the best I can be.”

Mike Sando of ESPN suggests that Crabtree will demand No. 1 receiver-type money, which may be too much if the 49ers want to bring back quarterback Colin Kaepernick as well.

A lot can chance between now and next year, but based on Crabtree’s history with contracts, it is a safe assumption that resigning him long-term may be a challenge for the 49ers.


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Tags: Michael Crabtree San Francisco 49ers

  • loverpoint

    A franchise QB is one in a million. Good WR’s are a dime a dozen.

    This topic does not deserve serious conversation for at least 1.5 more years.

    Your fixation on Michael Crabtree deserves attention from your nearest psychologist.

    • goldenbaysports

      Why can’t we discuss this now? It’s not like anything else is happening with the 49ers at the moment.


      You underestimate the importance of what Crabtree did last season. He was the first 1000 yd receiver in a long time. He is the favorite target of Kaepernick. IF you don’t like the topic of the article just simply don’t read it and keep it moving. It’s not a fixation on Crabtree. The writer has a legit question: Will 2014 Be Crabtree’s Last Year? Who are you to tell him when he should or shouldn’t consider this to be a topic.

  • Erik Burruss

    Eh. Crabtree is really good, but I don’t see him becoming a cornerstone of the franchise’s future. Too much ego, and he took a long time to really put it together. My bet is that he walks cuz he wants #1 WR money. And I’m okay with that – you can get a slight downgrade in a good possession receiver for a fraction of the salary cap hit.


      The “ego” of Crabtree’s idea is off based. Look at the downfield blocking on running plays. So many people are misguided with their comments about his supposed ego. If you don’t value his importance to the franchise, I suggest you take another look at the playoffs last year.

      • Erik Burruss

        Oh, don’t get me wrong – he stepped up huge in the playoffs last year. I think he’s a very talented player, but he was more than content to hold out his rookie year before underperforming until Kap took the helm. This, added to comments made to the media such as it’s nice to be on the “winning side” of a locker room split between kaepernick and smith… they just rub me the wrong way and imply an ego. However, I’m just reading tea leaves to an extent.

        Again, he’ll probably want #1 receiver money, ala Wallace, and Harbaalke won’t be down with paying that, especially if Patton, McDonald, Jenkins, Manningham, or anyone else steps up. Crabtree has shown before he’s willing to walk over an issue of money, so I think that’s what will happen again. Unless he only held out because SF was a losing team at that time. Then I’ll be wrong. It happens ;)