Lukewarm support for rookie Crabtree

Bay Area football fans appear grudgingly pleased with the 49ers’ signing of Michael Crabtree, hailing the news as a boon to the team while grumbling about the top draft pick’s lengthy holdout in contract negotiations.

The 49ers reached a deal with the wide receiver early Wednesday after a monthslong stalemate. In July, Crabtree turned down a $20 million, five-year deal.

“Now that they’ve agreed, it’s good,” said Dave Mello, 40, who grew up going to 49ers games. “Michael Crabtree will help any team.” 

Signing Crabtree to a six-year contract will ultimately improve the team, he said, but that doesn’t mean the former Texas Tech player will be popular with local fans.

“Holding off on signing for so long shows selfishness in a player in a team sport,” Mello said.

San Francisco resident Theordore Wilson, 49, said he hopes Crabtree can live up to the expectations.

“I hope he doesn’t turn out to be another Terrell Owens with his attitude,” he said. “Time will tell if he’s really as good as people think he’s going to be. The NFL is different than college. This is true smash-mouth football. It’s a lot faster and harder and he’s going to have to step up.” 

Football fans had mixed opinions on how soon Crabtree should play.

“I think they’re going to hold out three or four weeks. He doesn’t know the plays,” Wilson said.

Self-described sports fanatic Lance Thomas, 33, said the 49ers should put him in a game sooner rather than later.

“They really need him,” Thomas said. “He’s going to put them over the hump for real.”

Keenan Williams, 26, said he was surprised by the length of the contract negotiated between Crabtree and 49ers management.

“I think six years is too long, personally,” he said. “[Crabtree’s] a rookie.”
 

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