The San Francisco 49ers were expected to begin negotiations on a contract extension with wide receiver Michael Crabtree this offseason, but such a move may be less likely after the team acquired fellow wideout Stevie Johnson last week.
According to the Sacramento Bee, Johnson, who is under contract for the next few seasons gives San Francisco insurance if they’re not willing to pony up the cash Crabtree is to demand.
The 49ers didn’t trade up. In fact, they didn’t draft a wideout until the fourth round (Bruce Ellington). But they traded for veteran Stevie Johnson, who is signed through the next three seasons at salaries that are lower – perhaps significantly lower – than what Crabtree will want. The bottom line: The 49ers’ trade for Johnson may signal that they don’t intend to sign Michael Crabtree to a long-term extension.
While Johnson will likely find himself to be a serviceable talent for San Francisco, Crabtree is the better player between the two. Of course, much will depend on the former Texas Tech product’s financial demands moving forward.