NFL Training Camp is in full swing league-wide, but the 49ers are not yet practicing with their top pick from April's draft.
Michael Crabtree and the 49ers are in fact still a ways off in their negotiation for Crabtree's first NFL contract. Apparently Crabtree wants to be paid like a top-5 pick since that's what kind of value he's bringing, while the Niners are trying to ink him to a deal more along the lines of other picks from that part of the draft. It doesn't sound as if this thing is too close to being worked out, so I'd be surprised to see Crabtree suit up for the team's first pre-season game on August 14th. Right now, the Niners have been running Issac Bruce and Josh Morgan with the first team offense and Arnaz Battle, Jason Hill and Brandon Jones all battling to be third on the depth chart. I think the Niners had originally planned to have Crabtree come into the year as the team's number 3 guy, so he doesn't need to be on the field for every single snap, but if this contract situation keeps him out into the exhibition season, then it will certainly effect his place on the depth chart. Coach Mike Singletart keeps saying that he's not worried about Crabtree situation, but I think the Niners should be doing everything in their power to get this guy signed sealed and delivered. Their passing game needs it!
In other news coming out of team headquarters im Santa Clara, Dashon Goldson is taking the reigns of the 49ers starting safety job, and it looks like third year cornerback from Texas, Tarell Brown, is going to give Dre' Bly a tough battle for that starting corner spot opposite of Nate Clements. Singletary raves about both Goldson and Brown's play-making abilities in the secondary, and has already named Goldson the starting free safety. And, although the consensus was for Bly to take Walt Harris' spot after they signed him in April, that's not turning out to be the case. Coach Singletary has stated that Brown has just as good a shot to start at right corner as Bly does, and both will battle throughout camp to determine who will indeed start the year as the teams right cornerback. Brown had a solid sophomore season in the NFL last year, recording 30 tackles, picking off 2 passes and deflecting 3 others. I still think that Bly will ultimately be named the starter to begin the season, but Brown should be one of the better nickle-backs in the league, and will eventually be a starter in the NFL.