Thursday, August 6, 2009

Training Camp Notes

NFL training camps have been running for over a week now, and there's been plenty of news coming out of the two bay area football camps recently.

We talked in the last post about how the Niners were still in negotiations with their first round pick, receiver Michael Crabtree. At first, it seemed like the #10 overall pick out of Texas Tech would be signed immediately after camp begin, however, that hasn't coming to fruition. In fact, he recently has stated that he has no problem sitting out the 2009 season if the Niners don't meet his contract demands, which are is at least 23.5 million in guaranteed salary, identical to what the Raiders gave Darrius Heyward-Bey. Crabtree was widely speculated to be a top-5 pick, and he wants to be paid like it, regardless of where he was actually drafted. I think Crabtree and his agent aren't handling this thing correctly. I mean, the kid has top-5 talent, but he's already making a bad name for himself with this holdout going on. Who's going to want to take a player who wouldn't sign with the team that drafted him, just because they wouldn't pay him like a player picked 5 spots ahead of him? At the same time, if the Niners let this guy get away from him, it would truly be a shame, and maybe one that really sets the organization back a little bit. I do really hope they can figure this thing out sooner than later though, because Michael Crabtree is definitely an offensive talent that the 49ers desperately need.

Over on the other side of the Bay, the Raiders made some news today as they shipped one of their top defensive veterans and team leader, Derrick Burgess, to the New England Patriots. They also have gotten good news regarding Javon Walker, a guy who they are hoping can become the #1 receiver after a disappointing and injury filled season in '08... Burgess collected 38.5 sacks in 56 games with the Raiders and was by far the team leaders over that span. He has fallen off a bit over the last 2 years though, as he has just 11.5 sacks over that span, but still has tremendous value as a pass rusher. He really wasn't going to fit into the Raiders plans this year though, as he's held out all of training camp waiting for the trade, so it's not like the deal came out of nowhere. The Raiders added Greg Ellis earlier in the spring and he figures to get a lot of the snaps that Burgess would have gotten. Second-year end Grayson Gunheim could also figure into the mix at right-end, opposite of Jay Richardson.

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