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Flacco's expiring contract not an issue


Flacco's expiring contract not an issue

NEW ORLEANS (AP) When Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome walks through the locker room past Joe Flacco, other players start up a chant: ``Pay the man, pay the man.''

No worries: Flacco will be getting paid.

The question is, by which team?

Yet Flacco's expiring contract doesn't seem to concern anyone with the Ravens, including the quarterback himself.

Flacco practically shrugged Thursday when asked about potentially being a free agent after the Ravens play the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl.

``It's real simple,'' said Flacco, who made $6.76 million this year in the final season of his rookie contract. ``We didn't agree on a number and I didn't really care to discuss it any further once it got to that point. Bottom line is I'm not the guy going up into their offices and negotiating with them every day anyways. It was really never a concern of mine and I never really thought about it. Even in the offseason, when you think about it a little bit, they are really all good thoughts.

``It's a good problem to have and to be talking about.''

The guy talking about it with Ravens management is agent Joe Linta. He and Newsome recently had brief discussions about a new deal, but nothing was done.

``The onus is on them to make a move after this week,'' said Linta, who recognizes that the Ravens could slap the franchise tag on Flacco for 2013 at a cost of about $14.6 million. ``I would guess they want to keep him. He's 28, in the prime of his football life, has never missed a game. His resume on the table is outstanding and his future is even brighter.''

If that resume includes a Super Bowl win, Flacco might cost the Ravens in the $20 million per year range that Tom Brady and the Mannings are at. Flacco, a first-round draft pick in 2008 out of Delaware, already is the only quarterback to win a playoff game in each of his first five seasons. He passed Eli Manning for most road victories in the postseason when Baltimore won the AFC championship at New England.

Coach John Harbaugh says the uncertain contract status for the only quarterback to win six road playoff games ``has been amazingly unchallenging.''

``I think that's a credit to Joe first of all. Joe doesn't worry about that stuff,'' Harbaugh said. ``It's not something that matters to him. He's not a guy that's all wrapped up in that. I think he feels that it's going to work out; you do all your talking on the field. It's about football.

``He figured that he'll go out there and take care of business this year, lead the team, play as well as he could play and see what happens.''

What has happened thus far is a rarity: a Super Bowl quarterback possibly (although unlikely) on the open market.

One guy who won't be around if Flacco returns next season is star linebacker Ray Lewis, who will retire after the Super Bowl. But Lewis echoes his teammates' belief that Flacco isn't going anywhere.

``Joe is going to be the quarterback in Baltimore for a long, long time,'' Lewis said. ``He's proven it, he's earned it. I think he has the ability to be not just a great talent, but an awesome leader, too.

``Ozzie will do the right thing.''

And if Newsome needs any reminding, hearing those chants in the locker room will do the job.


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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?