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Cody's reduced role could expand


Cody's reduced role could expand

In this third season, Terrence Cody lost a significant amount of weight.

He also lost his starting job at nose tackle to Ma'ake Kemoeatu.

Kemoeatu, however, injured his knee and didn't play in the last game before the bye, a 43-13 loss to the Houston Texans. That gave Cody his first start of the season after starting all 16 games last season for what was then the NFL's third-ranked defense in total yards allowed, second against the run in yards allowed and No. 1 in red zone defense.

"I feel like I can do a lot more. I got to do my job and know my role," said Cody, who isn't putting too much emphasis on starting. "I'm chasing it but at the same time … we aren't dominating each other in reps so it's not a big deal."

Cody represents a young core of defensive players who have to emerge quickly if the Ravens are to stay atop the AFC North. The Ravens have fallen to the NFL's 28th-ranked defense, and against the run as they've allowed an average of 207 yards in the last three games.

"Like all young players, I think you want to see consistency. You just want to see them doing the learning from mistakes and then not making that same mistake again," defensive coordinator Dean Pees said of Cody and  the likes of rookie linebacker Courtney Upshaw and second-year cornerback Jimmy Smith. "All of them are playing hard. Our guys are working hard. They’re studying hard."

Kemoeatu fully participated at practice Thursday, but defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (shoulder) didn't. Ngata had a shoulder issue before the Texans game, as well as a knee strain.

That would mean more work for Cody likely will come Sunday at the Cleveland Browns, who are expected to attack them on the ground with Trent Richardson surging.

"We just expect to do better, especially our technique," said Cody, echoing a common sentiment around Owings Mills all week among defensive players. "We expect that to get a lot better and just to do our job. Each man has to be accountable for himself."

Being that it's the Browns raises the stakes.

"It's a division game. It's a must-win game," Cody said. "When you have division rivalries, it's always a must-win game."

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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?