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Flacco spreading the wealth


Flacco spreading the wealth

As the Ravens' no-huddle offense evolves, so has quarterback Joe Flacco's distribution.

While he may have relied too heavily on Dennis Pitta in the first two weeks -- Flacco even suggested on several occasions that defenses had "a bead on" where he was going with the ball -- he has begun to spread the wealth.

Pitta had 18 catches and two touchdowns in the first three games. In the 24-23 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, Flacco targeted Pitta 15 times alone. In the last game, a 23-16 win against the Cleveland Browns, he only targeted Pitta twice.

As receiver Torrey Smith has gotten more looks from Flacco by stretching the field, so have the other pass catchers.

"Never panic if you're not getting the ball because anything can change," said Smith, who had four catches and no touchdowns in his first two games but 12 catches for 224 and three touchdowns since then.

"Joe goes through his progression and he hits whoever is open. He feeds the hot hand a lot of the time," Smith said. "We have a lot of different weapons, tight ends and a number of receivers, running backs. We're heading in the right direction as an offense."

Jacoby Jones gets a few targets as well. He only had three catches against New England, but he totaled 86 yards. He had a touchdown catch called back against the Eagles.

And Anquan Boldin, who seemed like a forgotten man until last week, exploded for nine catches -- one fewer than he had in the first three games combined -- and 131 yards against Cleveland.

"I don't worry about it. It's going to come. Your number is not going to be called all the time," Boldin said. "You got to be ready to make a play.

"Especially when you get man coverage, I feel like I can make a play on anybody."

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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.

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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?