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Five things on Ravens wish list for Christmas


Five things on Ravens wish list for Christmas

Coach John Harbaugh gave the Ravens off Friday to celebrate Christmas. Here are five things that should be on the Ravens’ wish list for Santa, as they hope for a better 2016:

1. A win over the Steelers on Sunday.

The Ravens (4-10) could sweep the Steelers (9-5) and do major damage to their playoff hopes by beating them Sunday. The Ravens haven’t had much to brag about this season. But sweeping the archrival Steelers would brighten the holiday mood for the Ravens. And for Steelers coach Mike Tomlin and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, losing to the Ravens would feel like getting a lump of coal for Christmas.

2. Better luck with injuries.

With an NFL-high 19 players on injured reserve, is it asking too much for the Ravens not to suffer any more injuries until next season? Let’s hope not.

3. A strong draft in 2016.

The Ravens need an influx of young talent to close the gap between them and AFC North rivals Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome is one of the best in the business, and he will have plenty of ammunition in next year’s draft. The Ravens must cash in to avoid another disappointing season.

4. Having Steve Smith, Terrell Suggs, and Joe Flacco in the lineup for Week 1 next season.

Ravens fans are hoping that Smith won’t retire, that Suggs (Achilles) makes a full recovery and returns, and that Flacco (knee surgery) is ready for the season opener next year. While the Ravens shouldn’t count on Smith and Suggs like they have in the past, having their talent and leadership around for at least one more season would be a plus.

5. More team speed.

The Ravens need to get faster on both sides of the ball, to create more big plays on offense, to prevent more big plays on defense, and to force more turnovers. A healthy return by wide receiver Breshad Perriman would give the Ravens’ offense another playmaker they didn’t have this season. But the Ravens’ decision-makers will be bringing their stopwatches to the draft, looking for more overall team speed.

[RELATED: Smith Sr. critical of 'Foot Locker dudes' refs for Beckham incident


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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?