49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

October 7, 2009
Crabtree deal finished; WR to sign six-year deal

Our long, regional nightmare is finally over: Michael Crabtree has a contract. It took most of Tuesday and a good chunk of Wednesday but Crabtree's agent Eugene Parker and 49ers negotiator Paraag Marathe finally worked out a deal in the wee hours this morning. (check out the time I posted this bad boy). The team's initial offer way back in the summer was a five-year deal with about $16 million guaranteed. Once the two sides got together yesterday afternoon, the sticking point was the length of the deal, according to someone close to the negotiations. The new deal is for six years, something the 49ers insisted upon due to the time Crabtree already has missed. But Crabtree can make it into a five-year deal with on-field incentives. Playing time early in his career will be key. I'm told that Crabtree's guaranteed money is "around" $18 million. The player picked directly ahead of him, Green Bay's B.J. Raji, has $17.7 million guaranteed. Of course, Raji's deal is for five years, Crabtree's is for six.

Early on Tuesday I had heard that a mystery matchmaker brought the two sides and bridged the considerable gulf that had formed since the contract began 72 days ago on July 28. Who was this mystery man? It turned out to be former rap star MC Hammer, who is an associate of both Deion Sanders' and Parkers'. Hammer, who was born Stanley Burrell and who goes solely by "Hammer" these days, grew up in Oakland. He was a bat boy for the A's in the early 1980s. Hammer not only brought the two sides together in the Crabtree standoff, he was a key figure during yesterday's negotiations. You can't make this stuff up, folks ...

-- Matt Barrows



MATTHEW BARROWS

Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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