It took nearly 6 full months to get the deal done, but on Wednesday the Niners finally got their man and signed first round pick Michael Crabtree to a 6 year-deal with 17 million dollars in guaranteed money.
The move kind of came out of nowhere. I mean, it was just two days ago that news surfaced about Crabtree ready to re-negotiate with the Niners, and less than 48 hours later, he's signed. It's not like the 49ers desperately needed him right now either, they're sitting at 3-1 and have very good momentum going on both sides of the ball, but bringing Crabtree into the mix gives them a new dimension for their offense. It may take a couple of weeks until Crabtree gets familiar with the playbook, as I'm sure he's already gotten into it, so I'm not expecting anything to earth shattering on Sunday, if he even suits up for the game. It's actually pretty good timing for him to sign, because the Niners have their bye week after Sundays game in Atlanta, and will give Crabtree a full 2 weeks to get in sync with Shaun Hill and the Niners offensive game plan. When he does get in sync, I would expect to see Crabtree lining up opposite of Issac Bruce and playing a major role with this offense immediately. Niners receivers have been very mediocre so far through the first 4 games, so he'll bring a much needed spark for that group.
Even more good news, is that Crabtree practiced with the Niners on Wednesday. I didn't see or hear exactly how or what he did in his first official practice since signing, but all the players seem upbeat about having him on board and they're really expecting a lot out of the 22 year-old. Coach Singletary stated on Wednesday that he "hopes" Crabtree will be ready to start making an impact after the bye, so he may not suit up this weekend vs. the Falcons. I personally think the Niners should throw him right out there into the mix on Sunday. At worst, he'd gain the defenses' interest and give them something else to think about, even if he's not totally familiar with the playbook, but the Niners will likely be a little more conservative that that. Whether it's Sunday, or after the bye week though, I can't wait to see #15 get in action and I think he's going to end up being worth the wait.
Raiders Notes: Darren McFadden will be out for 2-4 weeks after hurting his knee in Sunday's loss to the Texans. McFadden was credited for -3 yards on 6 carries on Sunday and had just 1 catch for 5 yards in what was his worst outing as a pro. In his absence, look for Michael Bush to separate himself from the rest of the pack and gain most the carries. Bush has actually been a little more impressive than McFadden when given the opportunity... Check back Saturday for this weekend's Bay Area NFL Picks.