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Brigance to receive NCAA Inspiration Award


Brigance to receive NCAA Inspiration Award

O.J. Brigance, the only player who has won both CFL and Super Bowl titles with Baltimore teams and remains closely involved with the Ravens organization even as he battles ALS, will be honored with the 2016 NCAA Inspiration Award at the NCAA Convention in January.

The award is given by the national college athletics governing body to people who, "when confronted with life-altering situations, used perseverance, dedication and determination to overcome the event and, most importantly, now give hope and inspiration to others."

The recipient must either be a coach or administrator currently working in college athletics, or must have been a varsity letter-winner. Brigance was a three-year starting linebacker at Rice and graduated with a degree in managerial studies. Brigance will share the honor with the late Lauren Hill, the Mount St. Joseph University women's basketball player whose determination to play at least one game last season while battling brain cancer captivated the nation. 

After leaving Rice, Brigance played five years in the Canadian Football League, winning a Grey Cup title with the Baltimore Stallions in 1995. He then spent seven seasons in the NFL, with Miami (1996-99), the Ravens (2000) and St. Louis (2001-02). With the Ravens, Brigance was among the top special teams players, and had a team-high 10 special-teams tackles during their postseason run to their first Super Bowl title.

Brigance has been involved with the Ravens organization since 2002, and currently serves as a senior adviser to player engagement even while battling ALS, which he was diagnosed with in 2007. Using a motorized wheelchair and a computer to communicate, Brigance remains a fixture at the Ravens facility and at games.

In 2014, he was honored by the Pro Football Writers Association of America with the George Halas Award, given to the NFL player, coach or staff member who has overcome the most to succeed. Rice University has established the O.J. Brigance Courage Award, given annually to the Rice football player who embodies teamwork, character, work ethic and leadership. In 2012, he was named one of the school’s distinguished alumni. 

Brigance, 46, and his wife, Chandra, have established the Brigance Brigade Foundation, which has raised more than $1 million to help other families affected by ALS.

"O.J. Brigance is the most influential person in our organization,” coach John Harbaugh said last year after Brigance was named the Halas Award winner. “In a building of strong men, he is the strongest we have. You are energized each and every day to see how he attacks every day with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind, and we are blessed to have such an inspiring man with us every day."

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Ravens' Eric DCosta not ruling out taking a quarterback at No. 16

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Ravens' Eric DCosta not ruling out taking a quarterback at No. 16

And with the No. 16 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Baltimore Ravens select.... a quarterback?

Assistant general manager, and soon to be general manager, Eric DeCosta isn't ruling out the possibility that the Ravens use their first-round pick on drafting a quarterback to eventually replace Joe Flacco. 

"I feel like if there is a guy there that we think is really too good to pass up, we're going to take him," DeCosta told the team's website on the chance of draft a quarterback in the first-round. 

Quarterback is just one of many offensive needs for the team. Joe Flacco's stats have been trending downward as the 33-year old is entering his 11th season.


Owner Steve Bisciotti though may disagree with DeCosta.

At his annual State of the Ravens press conference, Bisciotti said, "That’s not really something that we’re worried about right now. We’ve got bigger fish to fry, I guess. I don’t consider that a big worry," in regards to looking at life after Joe. Bisciotti also noted the team would be looking at all options in free agency and the draft for weapons for their QB.

From the sound of that, it appears the team's first choice would be a wideout, but the Ravens haven't drafted a quarterback since Joe Flacco back in 2008. 

The 2018 NFL Draft class has a handful of strong quarterbacks to choose from and not a ton of first-round wide receivers. 

Former Ravens scout, Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com has predicted the team with take Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield in the first-round. 

"It basically depends on our evaluation and how we feel about the guy, what we think he can become as a player and what we think his upside is and if he's there," DeCosta said

Backup Ryan Mallet is a free agent so the organization will have to find someone to fill the role, whether it's someone on a one year-deal, or the future QB of the franchise. 


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Ravens sign Michael Crabtree to three-year deal

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Ravens sign Michael Crabtree to three-year deal

The Baltimore Ravens have signed wide receiver 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 Schefter.

After being released by the Raiders on 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 wide receiver 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.