Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net first reported last week that the 49ers might end up letting Michael Crabtree walk in free agency next offseason.
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee believes Crabtree’s days in the Bay Area could soon be over.
If the 49ers had traded up for a wide receiver in the first round – something GM Trent Baalke acknowledged contemplating – I was prepared to write the sentence: The 49ers’ move ahead for _________ may signal that they don’t intend to sign Michael Crabtree to a long-term extension. Crabtree, of course, is entering the final year of his rookie deal. 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.