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Do the Ravens have the depth they want?


Do the Ravens have the depth they want?

The Ravens always are looking for depth. They're always searching for more of it. They've got a bunch heading into the 2012 season.
But the question is -- do they have enough?
That's a question every NFL team must answer. One injury or two can crush a team's season, just ask the Chicago Bears. That's why more and more teams are really pushing hard to get that depth. The Ravens have been doing that the last few years.
Their depth chart looks pretty good as the season is about to start next Monday night against the Bengals. The Ravens have plenty of talent on offense, defense and special teams, enough so that one injury shouldn't end their season.
But you never know how or when a team will need that depth. Could be never. Or it might be in the first game -- remember Tom Brady's injury? -- and that's why teams are always looking for more players who can help out.
The Ravens might need the depth on defense, due to the questions involving their pass rush. That's a spot where they might have to try different people or different strategies to do what they want.
If the defensive backfield has problems with pass coverage, which did happen in the pre-season, depth could help the Ravens there. They know they've got talent back there. The question is can they do well in the games.
That's why the Ravens like competition to earn positions. They can see who'd have some ability and play well under tough situations. It's one reason why Justin Tucker is now the kicker, and Billy Cundiff has become a Redskin. Tucker beat him out.
The Ravens put Tucker's feet to the fire and saw what he could do under pressure. They also tried to do that with a number of younger and inexperienced players during the pre-season. They look like they've got some good depth as the season begins, but only time will tell if it's good enough.

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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?