September 21, 2009
The major storyline in the NFL last week was all the talking that the New York Jets did before their game against the New England Patriots. As it turned out, all their smack-talking didn't get them into one bit of trouble, as they were able to back it up and slap around the Patriots on Sunday.
This week, though, we're talking about a whole new kind of talk from the Jets, and it might get them in a whole lot of trouble.
The San Francisco 49ers organization has filed tampering charges against the Jets, accusing them of some kind of improper contact with unsigned 49ers draftee, Michael Crabtree. Gary Myers and Rich Cimini of the New York Daily News provide some details.
Although the specifics aren't known, it's not hard to connect the dots. Crabtree, the 10th overall pick in the draft, is threatening to sit out the season and reenter the draft in 2010. The 49ers may believe the Jets contacted Crabtree's agent, Eugene Parker, to let him know they'd be interested in trading for his rights, or in drafting him in 2010 with a better salary than the 49ers are offering. The NFL's trade deadline is Oct. 20, while the 49ers must either sign Crabtree by Nov. 19, or surrender his rights, putting him back into the draft pool for 2010.
Jets head coach Rex Ryan has already said that any charges are untrue, and that no one with the Jets has had any contact with Crabtree. 49ers head coach Mike Singletary wouldn't comment on it, and said the league would handle it.
Now, if they wanted to, the 49ers could have called up the Jets and said, "Hello, would you be interested in trading for the rights to Michael Crabtree(notes)?" The Jets are absolutely not allowed to contact Crabtree on their own, though, without going through the 49ers.
Accusations like this actually aren't new to the Jets. A couple of weeks ago, there was some talk that they may have made improper contact with Denver Broncos receiver Brandon Marshall(notes), though the Broncos never filed a formal complaint against them. The 49ers, according to the Daily News' report, have.
If the league finds any truth in the allegations, the most likely result is a fine, though it would also have the right to take away draft picks.
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