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Five ways that Suggs' loss will impact Ravens


Five ways that Suggs' loss will impact Ravens

SAN JOSE – The Ravens would wake up Monday in Califonia, and realize that Terrell Suggs’ season-ending Achilles injury was reality, and not just a bad dream. Here are five ways that losing an impact outside linebacker in Suggs will impact the Ravens’ season:

1.  The Ravens are no longer a trendy pick for the Super Bowl.

How quickly things change. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is not serving a four-game suspension, and New England is 1-0. Suggs is done for the year, and the Ravens are 0-1. A few weeks ago, the Ravens were a popular AFC favorite among national media. Without Suggs, they’ll be plenty of people jumping off the Ravens’ bandwagon.

2. Courtney Upshaw and Za’Darius Smith, get ready for your close-up.

Both outside linebackers will play more, and become more important to the Ravens’ defense. Smith was a healthy scratch against the Broncos, but he will likely be Sunday against the Raiders. The Ravens hope their fourth-round pick will develop as a pass-rusher – quickly. As for Upshaw, he has long wanted more playing time and responsibility. Now he’ll get it, but can Upshaw become more proficient as a pass rusher, and not just a run stopper?

3.  Elvis Dumervil will see more double-teams

Dumervil and Suggs gave the Ravens one of the NFL’s best pass-rushing combos. Having them as bookend linebackers kept opposing teams from focusing on just one. Now Dumervil will lineup for the first time as a Raven without Suggs as his running mate. Dumervil is a great player, but he may be the Raven who misses Suggs’ presence the most.

4. The Ravens will likely blitz more.

Suggs could often whip the player trying to block him, meaning the Ravens didn’t have to blitz to get pressure on quarterbacks. Now defensive coordinator Dean Pees may have to call more blitzes to get the pass rush he wants. As a result, the Ravens may still get to the quarterback. But they may also surrender more big plays.

5. Stopping the run could become more difficult.

The Ravens’ run defense didn’t’ look that good in the fourth quarter at Denver. Now three key members of the Ravens’ front seven from last season are gone - Suggs, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (Lions) and outside linebacker Pernell McPhee (Bears). Young players like tackles Brandon Williams, Timmy Jernigan, and Carl Davis must flourish, or the Ravens’ run defense will suffer.

RELATED: Sudden injury forces Ravens to look at life beyond Suggs

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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?