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Has Ravens WR Givens earned more playing time?


Has Ravens WR Givens earned more playing time?

Don’t be surprised to see wide receiver Chris Givens get more playing time Week 8 against the Chargers.

Givens had just one catch Monday night against the Cardinals, but it went for 31 yards, the kind of big play the Ravens’ offense desperately needs. And Givens only played 10 snaps, just 16 percent of the offensive snaps the Ravens had.

Meanwhile, other wide receivers who got far more action continued to be less productive. Kamar Aiken played 52 snaps and had just one catch for six yards. Marlon Brown played 38 snaps and had three catches for 22 yards. Jeremy Ross played 17 snaps and had just one catch for nine yards. Steve Smith was once again the Ravens’ go-to wide receiver, with five catches for 78 yards, playing just 48 snaps.

Givens’ speed poses the kind of threat that can help the Ravens’ downfield passing attack, creating opportunities not only for Givens, but for teammates working underneath routes. It has been almost a month since Givens was acquired in an Oct. 3 trade with the Rams. He should be feeling more comfortable in the offense, and he had two catches against the 49ers in Week 6.

Breshad Perriman was supposed to be the Ravens’ primary deep threat this season, but has yet to play a snap his rookie season due a knee injury. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco lamented the team’s inability to strike quickly following Monday’s loss to the Cardinals. Perhaps Givens can provide some of those plays Flacco is looking for. But to do that, Givens will need more playing time.

[RELATED: Harbaugh on Johnson's confusing run: 'I got no explanation']


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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?