The 49ers cannot be pleased with wide receiver Michael Crabtree right now. According to reports out of Miami, Crabtree was offered $3 million a year to become a Dolphin (a later report said Miami had not offered a contract). According to the first report, Crabtree wants an average of $4.5 million per year. Ha!
Typically, the longer a player lingers on the free agent market, the more he loses value. It’s rare to see teams slinging $20 million to $30 million deals at players in May and June. Those deals typically come in March. The Raiders are presumably going to take a gander at Crabtree this week and no one ever knows what Oakland may do. But if they offer anywhere near $3.5 milly, Crabtree should lunge at it.
So why does this matter to the 49ers? General manager Trent Baalke loves compensatory draft picks. A hallmark of Baalke’s strategy is to go into the draft with an abundance of picks, which allows Baalke the flexibility to trade. Also, more picks mean more chances to find a keeper in the late rounds.
Late-round picks that become productive starters are the most valuable commodity in the NFL. Late rounders can make one-tenth or less than what an unrestricted free agent starter makes. If a team can get a few late-round starters, they not only get a player that can help them, they can save enough money overall to sign other players.
Consequently, if Crabtree signs before May 12, the 49ers get a compensatory pick for 2016, likely in the later rounds. But with Crabtree clinging to the notion that he will somehow become more valuable in May than he is now, he might not sign before May 12.
SOURCE: Kevin Lynch