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Ex-Raven Oher's career revived with Newton, Panthers


Ex-Raven Oher's career revived with Newton, Panthers

After his career hit rock bottom with the Titans, former Ravens tackle Michael Oher is back in the Super Bowl with the Panthers.

Oher was the Ravens’ starting right tackle in Super Bowl XLVII, when they defeated the 49ers in New Orleans. However, Oher never lived up to expectations playing both left and right tackle during his five seasons in Baltimore, after being a first-round pick in 2009 (No. 23). When he hit free agency following the 2013 season, Oher signed a four-year, $20 million deal with the Titans, and they soon regretted it. Oher lasted just one season with Tennessee, and he was released last February.

Thinking his career might have ended, Oher got a phone message from Panthers quarterback Cam Newton last offseason, telling Oher that the Panthers needed him.

“I didn’t say 'I want you to be here,’ (but) I need you,” Newton said via the Charlotte Observer. “That’s a difference. Want and need is two big different words. That’s what I used in that text, along with other words. And I think he got the feeling from it.”

Oher signed a two-year $7 million deal with the Panthers in March, started every game at left tackle, and has played the best football of his career blocking for Newton. Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman knew there were plenty of skeptics when he signed Oher, but it turned into a fortuitous move.

“I know everybody killed me on that one,” Gettleman told the Observer. “Michael has been a huge boost to us. He’s settled it down.”

Now Oher is giving advice to teammates about what the Super Bowl experience will be like. Oher has been in the spotlight for years, since his life story was portrayed in the 2009 movie “The Blind Side”. The rebirth of his career has been like something from a movie as well, and Oher said he was enjoying the ride.

“I know we’ve still got another game to play, so you can’t get too excited,” Oher said. “We’ve got to finish. We came a long way.”

MORE RAVENS: Mosley's Alabama teammate on Ravens' draft radar

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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.