Most likely scenario for Crabtree, 49ers

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando


Michael Crabtree's decision to initiate talks with the 49ers is consistent with what happens when one side has had enough.

The initial meeting took place Tuesday.

My read is that Crabtree will sign a contract with the 49ers in the not-too-distant future. The 49ers will do what teams generally do in these situations: find a way for both sides to declare victory even though everyone versed in these situations knows the player has basically caved.

For example, the Seahawks made Leroy Hill's deal look better than it was after the team withdrew the franchise tag, leaving Hill in a tough situation. Seattle can easily get out of the deal after only two seasons, but Hill could claim he signed a six-year deal for $36 million.

This shouldn't be complicated unless Crabtree's camp is grandstanding, which seems unlikely. The 49ers can adjust the length of the contract or the incentives or both in order to make the overall numbers look better. The frustrating part for the team is that Crabtree easily could have done the same thing months ago.