<
>
EXCLUSIVE CONTENT
Get ESPN+

Explaining the hitches in Crabtree's deal

The biggest debate on the Michael Crabtree negotiations, which ended Wednesday after a 72-day holdout, was what to do about millions of dollars of escalators. Crabtree wondered if the San Francisco 49ers' offense would give him the chance to hit the 60-catch threshold to trigger some of those escalators or one-time bonuses. Offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye prefers a running attack. Nether side could come to a compromise until after 2 a.m. Wednesday.

Playing time an issue: One of the other problems facing Crabtree reaching contract triggers involved playing time, but his holdout created those problems. Normally, a 35-percent play participation level is needed to move these complicated contracts along. Crabtree missed four of the team's 16 games. The 49ers currently average 57.3 offensive plays a game, which computes to be about 917 plays this season. Crabtree won't play this week, and once he is active, his playing time will be minimal because he didn't have a training camp and still has to learn the offense. He would have to average about 40 plays a game down the stretch to reach the 35-percent threshold. Under the circumstances, that's not a guarantee.

Missing ingredient: Former
Cleveland Browns receiver Braylon Edwards is a perfect fit in the New York Jets' offense because he will give Mark Sanchez the "Plaxico Burress" type of receiver at the split end position. When Sanchez is blitzed, Edwards' leaping ability might come in handy for. Edwards' arrival will allow wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery to move to his more natural position at flanker. Cotchery had to move to split end this summer because the Jets didn't have a pure split end. With tight end Dustin Keller a potent threat in the slot, the Jets now have a legitimate receiving corps.