PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- The slow pace of rookie defensive end Aaron Maybin's contract talks with the Buffalo Bills are partly the result of another unsigned first-round draft pick: San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree.
Former NFL linebacker LaVar Arrington, Maybin's publicist and friend, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Crabtree's stalled negotiations are the reason that Maybin has missed the first two weeks of training camp and the Bills' preseason opener against the Tennessee Titans last weekend.
"This Crabtree kid is putting people in this predicament," Arrington said. "I just think people's hands are tied until this guy gets around to doing what he's going to do."
Crabtree was drafted 10th overall, one pick ahead of Maybin, who like Arrington played college football at Penn State.
With Crabtree unsigned, it makes it difficult to determine Maybin's value. Rookie contracts are traditionally slotted in descending order of where the player was drafted.
Crabtree's contract isn't the only issue: Four of the five players -- including Crabtree -- selected ahead of Maybin remain unsigned. That includes No. 9 pick, Green Bay's B.J. Raji, who is a defensive tackle and likely to have a comparable contract to Maybin, because they're both defensive linemen.
Arrington expressed hope that a deal can be reached soon because Maybin is eager to start practicing.
"He was in tears not being able to be out there Sunday," said Arrington, who watched the Bills' preseason game on television with Maybin. "He's a good kid. Hopefully we get it done quickly."
The Bills, as of Sunday, reported no progress on negotiations. Maybin's agent, Chafie Fields, has declined to discuss the status of talks.
Listed at 6-foot-4 and 250 pounds, Maybin is a fast and aggressive pass-rushing specialist who's expected to immediately help a defense that registered 24 sacks, finishing in a tie with the Washington Redskins for fifth-fewest in the NFL last season.
Maybin is growing frustrated and is becoming unhappy with critics who question why he's not signed.
Early Tuesday afternoon, Maybin posted on his Twitter.com site that he would cease tweeting until he's signed because "of the ignorance and stupidity of some people on twitter."
Added Maybin: "I'm tired of having to defend myself and my love for this game and the Bills franchise every day to those who know nothing about the business."
Mitchell posted a 6-part tweet, saying "it's ridiculous" that players are blamed for contract disputes and asked that people not be "ignorant."
"This is our job. Kno the facts b4 u knock the player," Mitchell wrote. He then informed Maybin to take his time because Bills players "know what u stand 4!"
Whitner urged fans to leave Maybin alone, adding that contract talks are part of the business.
The players weren't immediately available for comment because the tweets were posted following the Bills' morning walkthrough.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press