Michael Crabtree continues to hold firm, not signing a contract until the 49ers increase their offer.
The 49ers reportedly have changed their proposal.
Now, they?re offering less money.
Yahoo Sports? Michael Silver, a Press Democrat alum, quotes a 49ers source as saying the club is willing to give Crabtree incentives that push the deal ?up to a dollar less? than the package the Packers gave ninth overall pick B.J. Raji.
The Raji deal is a five-year contract worth $22.5 million in base salary with a max of $28.5 million. Raji received $17.7 million guaranteed.
?(But) we won?t go over that,? the source told Silver. ?Otherwise, we?re going to have the same problem next year, and the year after that ...?
Moreover, the 49ers are reportedly willing to pay less in guaranteed money with every game Crabtree misses.
The 49ers offered Crabtree $16 million guaranteed with the thought that he would play 80 games over five seasons. That works out to $200,000 for each of those games, and the 49ers are prepared to subtract that amount for each game Crabtree remains unsigned.
Coach Mike Singletary confirmed the 49ers have talked about lowering their offer or increasing the deal to six years to compensate for the time he has already missed with the club.
?At this time in the year, that may be the case. I?m not sure,? Singletary said. ?I don?t know if the letter?s actually been sent. I know we talked about it.?
Crabtree has a uniform and helmet in his locker at the team?s practice facility in Santa Clara. (There is no ?SF? decal on the helmet.) Just as in all the other lockers, there is a towel hanging ? ready to be used.
NFL rules state that an unsigned pick has until the Tuesday after the 10th week of the season (Nov. 17) to sign a contract to be eligible to play this season. If he does not sign, the 49ers would control his rights up until the 2010 draft. Any contract signed after Nov. 17 would be a deal that would take effect for the 2010 season.
If Crabtree does not sign, the 49ers would have about seven weeks, beginning March 1, to work a trade. Why would a team trade for Crabtree? If there?s a team that does not want to roll the dice in the draft, they could acquire him in a trade. Clearly, they would have to have a pretty good idea that they?d be able to sign him.
The trade deadline has already passed for the 49ers to trade Crabtree this season. Even if they sign him, they can?t trade him until March 1, at the earliest.
COACH WAS RESPECTFUL
Singletary had some issues with referee Don Carey, who was in his first game in that role. Singletary had a lively discussion with Carey in the tunnel at halftime, a source said.
?You don?t want to hear what I said,? Singletary said. ?It was very positive. He may not say that.?
An NFL spokesman said Singletary handled the situation appropriately. The league?s officiating department checked with Carey on Monday, and he reported that Singletary was ?professional and respectful in questioning a couple of calls.?
Singletary said he wanted better communication on the sideline in the first half.