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All week long, John has been billed as the warmer, funnier Harbaugh with Jim cast as the curt, almost curmudgeonly brother.

Yeah, that's pretty much right.

The Harbaugh brothers shared the stage for a joint news conference Friday morning and immediately reinforced the impressions the world has of them.

``Hi, how you guys doing? Welcome and thanks for coming. Just want to start by saying what an honor it is for both of us to be here, with each other. What an exciting moment it is, but even more for our families,'' John said, pointing out the Harbaugh parents in the audience along with their grandfather, a cousin and an uncle, and then spending a few minutes detailing his Baltimore Ravens schedule for the day.

After his minute-long opening statement, John turned the mic over to Jim.

``I concur,'' Jim said, drawing laughs.

While Sunday's Super Bowl between John's Ravens and Jim's San Francisco 49ers has been billed as ``The Harbowl,'' the brothers have only reluctantly gone along with the storyline. When a reporter noted that both brothers had made risky mid-season decisions - John fired offensive coordinator Cam Cameron while Jim dumped quarterback Alex Smith for Colin Kaepernick - and asked if that could be traced back to their childhoods, Jim ignored the question, talking about his players instead.

``The way our players have played, to me, that is why we're here,'' Jim finally said. ``Not because of any coaching decisions or the way we were when we were kids. It's really a credit to those men, and we're looking forward to game.''

When asked what ``philosophical commonalities'' the brothers share, Jim replied, ``I'd be hard pressed to spell philosophical right now.''

John was more willing to play along with the fascination surrounding the family this week. He told how he and his brother had built a hockey goal out of chicken wire when they were about 13 - John is 15 months older - and broke all the windows in the garage. He gave a glimpse at what their conversations are like during the season - ``Just normal personal stuff any two brothers would talk about. That's 95-plus percent of our conversations'' - and talked of how agonizing it was to watch his brother when he was an NFL quarterback.

But John is still a Harbaugh, as was clear when he was asked if he and his brother might forego the traditional postgame handshake and hug instead.

``I have given absolutely no consideration to a postgame handshake or bear hug or anything else,'' John said. ``Jim, have you?''

``I have not,'' Jim replied.

- Nancy Armour -http://www.twitter.com/nrarmour


EDITOR'S NOTE - ``Super Bowl Watch'' shows you the Super Bowl and the events surrounding the game through the eyes of Associated Press journalists across New Orleans and around the world. Follow them on Twitter where available with the handles listed after each item.

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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?