The feud between Richard Sherman and Michael Crabtree began last summer when Crabtree tried to start a fight at a charity event, according to a column in today's Seattle Times by Jerry Brewer.
Sherman's brother, Branton, told Brewer that both players attended an event hosted by Arizona receiver Larry Fitzgerald. Branton said that when Sherman went to shake Crabtree's hand, Crabtree tried to start a fight. "I'm going to make a play and embarrass him," Sherman vowed that day, according to the story.
Sherman certainly did everything he could to embarrass Crabtree after Sunday's game. "I was making sure everybody knew that Crabtree was a mediocre receiver. Mediocre," Sherman said. "And when you try (to beat) the best corner in the game with a mediocre receiver, that's what happens. Game."
Sherman acknowledged in his MMQB piece this morning that something happened between him and Crabtree in Arizona:
Erin Andrews interviewed me after the game and I yelled what was obvious: If you put a subpar player across from a great one, most of the time you're going to get one result. As far as Crabtree being a top-20 NFL receiver, you'd have a hard time making that argument to me. There are a lot of receivers playing good ball out there, and Josh Gordon needed 14 games to produce almost double what Crabtree can do in a full season. And Gordon had Brandon Weeden, Brian Hoyer and Jason Campbell playing quarterback.
But that's not why I don't like the man. It goes back to something he said to me this offseason in Arizona, but you'd have to ask him about that. A lot of what I said to Andrews was adrenaline talking, and some of that was Crabtree. I just don't like him.
In the run-up to the game Crabtree was asked if he thought Sherman was the league's best cornerback. "I don't know (anything) about the best cornerbacks in the league," he said. "I just know teams, you know? We are playing the Seattle Seahawks and hopefully we come out with a win. We are going hard."
Whether Crabtree tried to start a fight with Sherman is likely subjective and more than a bit suspicious considering that Crabtree tore his Achilles' tendon in May. The 49ers receiver probably has a different recollection of how things went down. The 49ers are having a final team meeting this morning. The players are supposed to be available to the media afterward.
Related: Richard Sherman's postgame rant
-- Matt Barrows