Michael Crabtree was home, threatening to sit out the season. Braylon Edwards had been mired in Cleveland with the lowly Browns. But now both wide receivers are ready for a fresh start.
Crabtree was the last draft pick to sign when he did so after negotiations between his agent, Eugene Parker, and the San Francisco 49ers last week. The 10th overall selection in the 2009 draft and top pick of the 49ers, Crabtree had held out for more money. Crabtree accepted a six-year agreement laden with incentives that will be reduced to five years if he is highly productive.
Over the summer, Crabtree was offered a five-year deal worth $20 million with $16 million guaranteed. But he and Parker wanted money more in line with No. 7 pick Darrius Heyward-Bey, a wide receiver with the Oakland Raiders. Heyward-Bey received a five-year contract worth $38.25 million with $23.5 million guaranteed. Crabtree’s cousin and adviser, David Wells, said in August that Crabtree might sit out the season. The new offer for Crabtree is reported to be similar to the original one, except for the incentives.
Crabtree caught 97 passes for 1,165 yards and 19 touchdowns in his sophomore year at Texas Tech in 2008. He had a career 231 receptions for 3,127 yards and 41 TDs in college. Although he’ll be a threat with the 49ers, Crabtree might not see the ball as much as he’d like. The 49ers have stuck with a running game that was ranked 14th in the league through Week 4, while their passing game was 28th. Crabtree is expected be active for the Houston game on Oct. 25. With all of the time that he has missed, Crabtree probably could use the extra practice.
Edwards, in his fifth year out of Michigan, was traded last week from the Browns to the New York Jets for special team’s player Jason Trusnik, wide receiver Chansi Stuckey and two draft picks. Having Edwards will give the Jets a deep threat, something that will help rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez. “This is a fresh start for Braylon,” said Browns coach, and former Jets coach Eric Mangini. “It’s a great opportunity for him, and I expressed to him that I hope he takes advantage of it.”
Edwards had just 10 catches for 139 yards with the Browns this season. He has 238 catches for 3,697 yards with 28 touchdowns during his career, and his best season was in 2006, when he caught 80 passes for 1,289 yards and 16 TDs. The Jets don’t get Edwards without a little baggage though. Edwards is being investigated by the NFL as to whether he violated the league’s conduct policy when he was accused of assaulting a friend of NBA star LeBron James outside a Cleveland nightclub recently.
Doesn’t Mean They’ll Win the Super Bowl
There were five unbeaten teams in the NFL going into Week 5. The New York Giants, New Orleans, Minnesota, Denver and Indianapolis each were 4-0, tied for the most such teams in a season (1968, 2003) in league history.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, there have been 117 teams that have started a season at 4-0 in the Super Bowl era (since the 1966 season). Of those, 34 reached the Super Bowl and 17 won it.
- First To 32: The Vikings’ Brett Favre became the first quarterback to beat all 32 teams in the NFL. Of course, it helped to have that little tiff with his old team, the Green Bay Packers.
- Biggest Revenge: Brett Favre, who went 24-for-31 for 271 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs in the Vikings 30-23 win over the Packers in Week 4.
- Best Sub: Pittsburgh running back Rashard Mendenhall, filling in for injured Willie Parker, had a career-high 165 yards rushing and scored his first two NFL touchdowns in the Steelers 38-28 win over San Diego in Week 4. “I wanted people to see me and who I am,” said Mendenhall, who came into the game with 103 career rushing yards.
- Going For It: Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis granted QB Carson Palmer’s request to go for it on fourth-and-11 with 1:04 left in overtime against the Browns in Week 4. Palmer ran 15 yards for a first down, setting up Shayne Graham’s game-winning 31-yard field goal with seven seconds left, therefore avoiding a tie.
Did You Know?
That the New York Giants are the first team since 2006 to sweep three straight games on the road? The Giants won at Dallas, Tampa Bay and Kansas City in Weeks 2-4.
Copyright © 2009 Bob Hurst. All Rights Reserved. Distributed by Hurst Sports Media.