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Asa Jackson can't rest easy about making Ravens final roster


Asa Jackson can't rest easy about making Ravens final roster

ATLANTA -- Another mixed performance for Asa Jackson probably led to a sleepless night, wondering if he would make the Ravens’ 53-man roster.

Jackson fumbled a punt for the second consecutive week during Thursday night’s 20-19 victory by the Falcons. Fumbling punts is not something a player on the bubble can afford to do. However, Jackson also showed his electrifying potential on a 53-yard punt, which could have gone for a touchdown if he had not tripped himself trying to fake out the Falcons’ punter. 

Jackson also had a long kickoff return against the Redskins last week. So if the Ravens keep Jackson, will his good outweigh the potential bad? That is what coach John Harbaugh was trying to figure out, as the Ravens focused on trimming the roster to 53 players by Saturday’s 4 p.m. deadline.

“You’ve got to be consistent,” Harbaugh said. “You’ve got to be dangerous for them, not for us.

“It makes it difficult. You know the guy’s capable of making plays.”

The Ravens may not keep more than five cornerbacks, and Jimmy Smith, Lardarius Webb, Kyle Arrington, Rashaan Melvin, and fourth-round rookie Tray Walker are in line to be the first five. That could leave Jackson on the outside looking in, especially with Michael Campanaro, Lardarius Webb, and Steve Smith among those capable of returning punts.

Give Jackson credit for being a standup person, through good and bad times. Jackson stood in front of his locker after the game, and answered every question posed to him.

“The guys out there are making the best blocks,” Jackson said. “We deserve to have someone back there who will score. Good things are in the future, though.

“I’ve always been a player that has a lot of confidence and try to make plays. Sometimes being aggressive, that’s the result sometimes. It’s not okay. I feel this loss is on my shoulders. That’s real frustrating. But you know, I’ll just go back to the drawing board tomorrow and try to get better from there.”

However, it remained to be seen if Jackson would have a tomorrow with the Ravens after Saturday. 

MORE RAVENS: Kick returner remains a question mark for Ravens

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Ravens sign Crabtree to three-year deal

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Ravens sign Crabtree to three-year deal

The Baltimore Ravens have signed WR Michael Crabtree to a three-year deal on Friday according to general manager and executive vice president Ozzie Newsome.

The deal is apparently worth $21 million, according to Adam Shefter.

After being released by the Raiders Thursday following the signing of Jordy Nelson, Crabtree heads to the Ravens less than 24 hours later.


The 31-year-old is coming off a 2017 season when he recorded 58 receptions for 618 yards and eight touchdowns. In 2016 he posted 89 receptions for 1,003 yards and eight touchdowns.

Since 2015, the Texas Tech product has scored 25 receiving touchdowns, the fifth-most in the NFL. Crabtree and Steelers WR Antonio Brown are the only NFL players to post at least eight touchdown catches in each of the past three seasons.


In all, Crabtree has played nine NFL seasons – six of them with San Francisco (2009-14) and three with Oakland (2015-17). The former first-round draft pick (10th overall, Texas Tech) has registered 579 receptions for 6,870 yards (11.9 avg.) and 51 touchdowns in 125 career games (122 starts).

“Michael has played very well against the Ravens, so we know firsthand the attributes he brings to the game,” Newsome said in a team statement. “He is a smart, tough, physical receiver who battles for the ball. We like his temperament and believe he is a good fit for our football team, on and off the field.”

Since he entered the NFL in 2009, Crabtree’s 51 receiving scores rank 10th among active wide receivers, while his receptions (579) are seventh, and his receiving yards (6,870) are 12th.

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Ryan Grant's health issue and why the Ravens couldn't control voiding his contract

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Ryan Grant's health issue and why the Ravens couldn't control voiding his contract

The most obvious move in the NFL this offseason was the Ravens signing a new wide receiver (or three). It was less obvious why the team decided to commit so much money to former Redskins receiver Ryan Grant.

Grant has long been beloved by his coaches and teammates, but the results have never been there on game day. He has some potential to improve if given a larger role in a team's offense, which he likely would have had in Baltimore, but it never made much sense to offer him a 4-year contract worth nearly 30 million, with $14.5 million guaranteed.

Thankfully for fans who were uninspired by the reported agreement, Grant was unable to pass his physical and will not be joining the team.


At a press conference Friday morning, GM Ozzie Newsome called the void a "medical decision" that Newsome had no control over. 

NFL insider Ian Rapoport reported that Grant is recovering from a Grade 2 sprained ankle that would need two months rest.

You have to feel for Grant, who by all accounts has worked his tail off for many years just waiting for his chance. It's never easy missing out on nearly $15 million dollars guaranteed, but Grant should be able to find work with another team.

The timing of this news, coming so soon after former Raider Michael Crabtree became available, seemed fishy to some.

At Friday's press conference, Newsome also said the team would have still pursued Crabtree if they signed Grant. 

It's probably not fair to suggest that an NFL franchise would actually so publicly back out of a deal just because another option came along, as any team with that reputation would struggle to attract future free agents. That said, it could end up working out splendidly for the team.

Besides, if all else is equal, shouldn't a team located in Baltimore be going after a guy named CRABtree?