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Jaguars have the kind of young WR's Ravens covet


Jaguars have the kind of young WR's Ravens covet

You can knock the Jaguars for being 2-6, but don’t knock their wide receivers.The Ravens could certainly use a pair of wide receivers like the Jaguars’ Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns. Both are on pace to have 1,000-yard seasons. Both are young – Robinson 22 years old, while Hurns is 24.

When the Jaguars visit M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday, the Ravens (2-6) will try to keep Robinson and Hurns from displaying just how good they are. While people are wondering if Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has enough weapons to win consistently now that Steve Smith (torn Achilles) is done for the season, nobody is asking Jaguars’ quarterback Blake Bortles if he has enough weapons.

“They look like pretty legit receivers,” said Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith.

RELATED: Will Ravens end takeaway drought this week?

They are definitely legit. As good as Steve Smith was for the Ravens (46 catches, 670 yards, three touchdowns) before he was injured, Robinson has almost as many catches (40) as Smith, and more yards (707) and more touchdowns (six). Hurns (36 catches, 635 yards, six touchdowns) is also dangerous after the catch, and will test the tackling of the Ravens’ secondary.

The Ravens thought first-round pick Breshad Perriman would address their need for speed at wide receiver, but he has yet to play a snap due to a knee injury. Bortles and Perriman were teammates at Central Florida, where they were a productive duo. Now Bortles enjoys throwing to a pair of young wide receivers  who could be a problem for the Ravens on Sunday.

“Guys have been able to attack them (the Ravens) in certain areas, and that’s football,” Bortles said. “I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily a big weakness of the Baltimore defense, and that we’re going to throw a ton of balls down the field. I think we’re going to stay within our game plan and be who we are and do what we do, but it’s definitely something that you notice watching tape, is the amount of shots taken and the successful shots taken, for sure.”

 The Ravens have already seen five players have 100-plus-yard receiving days against them -  A. J. Green of the Bengals (227 yards), Gary Barnidge of the Browns (139), Michael Crabtree (111) and Amari Cooper (109) of the Raiders (111), and Anquan Boldin (102) of the 49ers.

The Ravens could be in trouble Sunday if Robinson and Hurns are added to that list.

MORE RAVENS: Five career milestones Ravens can reach this season

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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?