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No love for Ravens in Pro Bowl voting


No love for Ravens in Pro Bowl voting

The Ravens have no leaders in Pro Bowl voting with a week to go, which may not be all that surprising for a 4-8 team that is limping toward the finish line.

But it is mildly surprising that a few Ravens who are having outstanding seasons haven't gotten more recognition from fan voters.

Most notably, punter Sam Koch, who leads the league in net punting (44.5) and has just two touchbacks all season, stands third in Pro Bowl voting, behind New England's Ryan Allen and the Colts' Pat McAfee. Allen ranks 20th in the league in net punting (39.2). Ravens special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg last year made an impassioned case for Koch as a Pro Bowl candidate, and he has another strong case to do so again.

Granted, the Pro Bowl fan voting accounts for just one-third of the selection process; the Pro Bowl players are determined by consensus votes of fans, players and coaches.

With one week left in fan voting, the only Ravens player in the top two is kicker Justin Tucker, a distant second behind New England's Stephen Gostokowski.

Defensive tackle Brandon Williams, who has been one of the Ravens best players all season, stands ninth in voting among defensive tackles. The top two at that position are Geno Atkins of Cincinnati and Kawann Short of Carolina.

Guard Marshal Yanda, who has made the Pro Bowl four straight years, ranks eighth among guards. Other Ravens in the top 10 include Albert McClellan, No. 3 as a special teamer, and Kyle Juszczyk, No. 3 at fullback.

Fan voting continues until Dec. 15. Players and coaches vote on Dec. 18, and the Pro Bowl rosters will be announced Dec. 22.

[RELATED: Ravens drop another close one to Miami]


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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?