Vonta Leach is keeping a tight lip.While Ray Rice has lobbied for the fullback to get more action rather than talk about himself, Leach defers when asked about the state of the Ravens' offense in relation to he running game."We left a lot of plays out there and it was not about what they did but what we did not do," Leach said after a 24-23 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.Leach, who often clears the way for Rice to get past the line of scrimmage and loose into the secondary, only had one carry vs. the Eagles. It was for a 5-yard touchdown run that tied the score at 7. He had one catch for six.In the opening win for the Ravens vs. the Cincinnati Bengals, Leach didn't have any carries, but he had three catches for 18 yards.The last time Leach, a two-time All-Pro, had more than one carry in a game was Dec. 11 when he had three for 14 yards vs. the Indianapolis Colts.Leach's primary responsibility is to lead the way for Rice, who has 26 total carries for 167 yards, which represents six fewer carries at this same point one year ago but 17 yards more.The offensive line wasn't as effective creating room to run the ball in the second half vs. the Eagles. In the first half, for instance, Rice had 78 yards on seven carries. He only gained 21 yards on nine rushes after halftime.Leach wasn't used much, either.Coach John Harbaugh admitted the blocking from his line wasn't adequate. He has a rookie starting right tackle in Kelechi Osemele and a first-time starter at left guard in Ramon Harewood, who was on injured reserve his first two NFL seasons."At times there were one-on-one matchups that got us a little bit in the second half, especially that were pretty good players rushing against some younger guys, which is going to be part of the learning process for some of those guys," Harbaugh said.
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.
Ravens giving WR Michael Crabtree a three-year, $21 million deal, including $15 million in first two years and $11 million guaranteed ($7M signing bonus), per source. Deal could be worth up to $20 million in first two years.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 16, 2018
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.
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.
WR Ryan Grant, who reached agreement with Baltimore on a $29 million deal, failed his physical and his Ravens deal is null and void, per sources. Grant will have to find another deal with another team willing to pass him on his physical.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 15, 2018
Baltimore failed former Washington WR Ryan Grant on his physical over an ankle injury that dated back to the Redskins' final regular-season game, per source. Grant's time in Baltimore is over before it began. He remains a free agent.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 15, 2018
At a press conference Friday morning, GM Ozzie Newsome called the void a "medical decision" that Newsome had no control over.
Newsome: "I did not get the results of Ryan's physical until about 4 o clock yesterday." Said team consulted with many doctors around the country. "It's not a football decision. It's a medical decision that I had no control over."— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiecsun) March 16, 2018
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.
Former Raiders' WR Michael Crabtree is scheduled to visit Friday with the Baltimore Ravens, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 15, 2018
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?
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