Clear 41° Good Evening
Clear 41° Good Evening

Ryan denies Jets tampered with Crabtree

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Rex Ryan on Monday vehemently denied the 49ers' assertion that the Jets tampered with unsigned rookie wide receiver Michael Crabtree.

The 49ers filed tampering charges with the league, reportedly because they may believe that the Jets contacted Crabtree's agent, Eugene Parker, to inform him they would be interested in trading for Crabtree's rights or selecting him in the 2010 draft if he decides to re-enter.

"It's not true," Ryan said. "But we'll let the league figure it out. It's not accurate, it's not true. I don't care what the specifics are. This is not true. So, whatever."

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello declined to comment, saying the league doesn't comment on tampering allegations.

Mike Singletary, the 49ers' coach, was asked by reporters at the team's Santa Clara, Calif., training facility about the charges and said, "I'm not going to get into that. We'll let that play out, the process. I'm not even going to go there. We'll let the league handle that and go from there."

Crabtree, selected 10th overall in April's draft, has been embroiled in a bitter contract dispute with the 49ers, threatening to sit out the entire season. The deadline for trading his rights to a team expired Aug. 14.

The 49ers have until Nov. 17 to sign Crabtree or he will be ineligible to play in 2009. The 49ers would have to wait until after March 1 to trade him to another team, giving them about a seven-week window before the draft to move the former Texas Tech standout.

Earlier in the day while appearing on ESPN Radio's "Mike and Mike in the Morning," Ryan said he wishes "we were playing them," referring to the 49ers.

"I'll stand by that comment," Ryan later said. "It means we are in the Super Bowl, so I'll definitely take that."


Extra points

CBs Lito Sheppard (right quadriceps) and Donald Strickland (right ankle) could be limited in practice this week, but as of now, it looks as though both should be available for Sunday's home game with the Titans.

New York Sports