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A case can be made that Michael Crabtree made $2 million for each of the first four games of the season he missed for the San Francisco 49ers.

The package the wide receiver received Wednesday when he finally ended an exhausting contract impasse with the organization was for $8 million more than the club had on the table. Now, Crabtree has to go about his business on the field and that's the big question, what can he accomplish as a rookie? The 49ers received a roster exemption from the NFL for this week, and he'll be able to make his debut Oct. 25 at Houston. The Bears travel to San Francisco shortly after that for a Nov. 12 game, which could be Crabtree's fourth game in uniform.

Can he be productive by then in offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye's conservative attack? Will the 10th pick in the draft be a difference maker.

Bears general manager Jerry Angelo had some strong feelings on the issue--rookie holdouts--in general. Of course, he went through one four seasons ago when running back Cedric Benson showed up 36 days late after a holdout that involved Eugene Parker, the same man who represents Crabtree.


INDIANAPOLIS--The Bears figure to be in the market for a wide receiver in this draft and the picture for wideouts just got jumbled.

Michael Crabtree, the consensus best receiver in the draft and the top player according to some scouts, will be out 10 weeks after it was discovered Friday that he has a stress fracture in his left foot. He will require surgery to have a pin inserted.

How this changes the board for teams picking near the top of the draft remains to be seen. Ten weeks will take him up until about the draft, which begins April 25. It could affect Missouri's Jeremy Maclin most. He's considered the next best receiver by many.

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