We often realize this time of year that teams and coaches will say and release anything that personally benefits them and their team. If the Bengals know another team is looking at Michael Crabtree behind them, then the Bengals will either talk about how great Crabtree fits into their system, or have a source leak to the press of their intentions. I'm using Crabtree specifically for a reason. Tony Grossi of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes that the Browns "have all but crossed off Michael Crabtree as a candidate for the No. 5 overall pick, said a source."
The Texas Tech receiver brought a diva attitude on his visit to the club facility last week and did not impress coach Eric Mangini and others, the source said. In fact, Crabtree was described by some in the building as "not nice." After Crabtree left, Mangini secured last-minute workouts with borderline first-round receivers Hakeem Nicks of North Carolina, Kenny Britt of Rutgers and Mohamed Massaquoi of Georgia.
Fantastic. Taking this at face value, without the Browns picking up Crabtree, that only means he'll be there with the sixth pick and the Bengals run the risk of picking up a diva wide receiver in a year in which wide receiver isn't even on the radar of critical needs.
I know what you're saying. I can feel it. Your laser-like eyes are penetrating through the servers and back to my screen. If they keep Chad Johnson, there's no reason that the Bengals draft Crabtree. That scenario only exists if they trade Chad Johnson. Right? Hello? To which I counter; they traded down (or up... well, back) their first pick in 2004 to position themselves for Chris Perry. They turned down the Saints offer of six draft picks in 1999. To draft Akili Smith.
"It was hard to turn down, but we did," Mike Brown said at the time. "We have gone a long time here trying to solve our quarterback problem. I am convinced that is our principle problem. We've got to get it resolved at some point on a satisfactory basis."
So yea. You don't think that the Bengals won't draft Crabtree? Let me tell you something.