It's crazy how one comment from a relative can make things go south in a hurry. Three months ago, we were the happiest fans on the planet. We snagged potentially (and arguably) the best receiver in the draft. Now, we have a relative of Crabtree's threatening potential holdout unless Crabtree is given "fair market" value (whatever that is supposed to mean at this stage).
So now the perception is that Crabtree is going to hold out for the rest of the season. I think otherwise. Crabtree has too much at stake. So here are the reasons why I don't think Crabtree will sit out.
1) He loses a whole year's worth of salary (at least 4-5 million).
2) If he re-inserts himself into the draft, odds are that teams will shy away from drafting him in the top 10 because they don't want to go through the thought of having him hold out again. He wouldn't command top 10 $'s anymore.
3) The talent pool is much more competitive for 2010, also decreasing the chances that he will be selected in the top 10.
4) The prospect of a rookie salary cap looms. If it passes (which it most likely will), Crabtree could potentially make significantly less due to the odds that he will not be drafted in the top 10.
5) Crabtree is not a speed demon. So the chances of a good 40 time in next year's combine is unlikely, which would also keep him out of the top 10.
6) All indications coming out of college is that Crabtree loves the game. He is no longer college eligible and would sit out of football for a whole year. He would need to dedicate himself to staying in football shape for nothing.
So it's too early to panic. The 49ers hold all the cards. The 49ers should and will call the bluff. I still believe that Crabtree's agent is waiting for the other picks to sign before moving forward with negotiations. But the thought of a season long holdout is outrageous. Crabtree (and his agent) would stand to lose millions if he did.