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Need for speed should keep Jack, Wallace on Ravens' radar


Need for speed should keep Jack, Wallace on Ravens' radar

As the Ravens continue to retool their roster, the need for more speed remains obvious. That’s why UCLA linebacker Myles Jack remains a player to watch in the draft. That’s why the Ravens’ interested in free agent wide receiver Mike Wallace can’t be dismissed, though his production has dipped over the last several years.

Let’s start with Jack.  

A serious knee injury suffered last year prevented Jack from doing drills at the combine. However, he received medical clearance Thursday to participate fully at his pro day March 15, and appears on the way to a full recovery.

With the Ravens holding the No. 6 pick in the draft, Jack could be their choice. He’s the kind of versatile linebacker who would fit into their scheme nicely, with the speed to pursue ball carriers sideline-to-sideline, cover receivers, and force turnovers. Some scouts think Jack is the draft’s best player. Pairing Jack with C. J. Mosley at linebacker would give the Ravens two talented young playmakers who could help the defense get off the field more often on third down.

As for Wallace, if he wants to be overpaid, the Ravens won’t sign him. But the Ravens still don’t know what they really have in wide receiver Breshad Perriman, who missed his entire rookie season with a knee injury. Perriman’s speed is a major reason the Ravens drafted him. If he can stay healthy next season, having Perriman and another speed guy like Wallace could make the Ravens’ offense more explosive, while also helping Steve Smith Sr. and Kamar Aiken.

Getting tight end Ben Watson was a nice pickup, and he should help the Ravens’ offense both on third down and in the red zone. But the Ravens need more speed, and they know it. It will be interesting to see if either Jack or Wallace ends up in Baltimore.

[RELATED: Watson glad he doesn't have to play against the Ravens anymore

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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?