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Call him Javorius, call him Buck, just call him ready


Call him Javorius, call him Buck, just call him ready

OWINGS MILLS – Javorius Allen was asked Friday whether he preferred his given name, or his nickname “Buck.” His response drew laughter.

“As long as you don’t disrespect me, I’ll answer to both of them,” Allen said.

Nobody in the Ravens’ organization is disrespecting Allen. The Ravens drafted him in Round 4 (No. 125 overall) because they saw a running back with the potential to be a backup now, and maybe a starter down the road.

Allen and Lorenzo Taliaferro should wage an interesting battle to backup Justin Forsett next season. Not only did Allen have 2,306 yards during his career at USC, averaging 5.5 yards per carry, but Allen also caught 63 passes for 712 yards.

That ability as a pass-catcher stood out in the Ravens’ eyes. New Ravens offensive coordinator Marc Trestman loves multi-purpose backs. Matt Forte was a huge part of Trestman’s offense when he was head coach of the Bears. Allen will step into an offense that will utilize his skills if he’s ready.

“I just want to show the coaching staff why they drafted me, why I was their No. 1 guy on the board, and come in and prove my point, make the 53-man roster and go from there,” Allen said.

Many rookie backs struggle with pass protection, so the Ravens’ coaches want to see how quickly Allen recognizes blitzes, and how well he pass-blocks. If Allen blocks well enough to protect Joe Flacco, then the Ravens are confident his running and catching will help their offense.

This weekend’s rookie camp is just step one for Allen.  But his goal is to make a strong first impression.

“Whenever my number is called, I’m going to make the best of the opportunity,” Allen said.  

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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?