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OTA no-shows? No problem ... for some


OTA no-shows? No problem ... for some

The Ravens begin their first official organized team activities (OTA) session Wednesday, and it is almost certain that there will be some no-shows. And although the Ravens would love to have all 90 players on their roster in the building for every workout, that won't happen. And that's OK.

Under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, this week's OTA is voluntary. The Ravens will have just one mandatory minicamp, scheduled for June 16-18.

No one will actually say this, but to be sure, this week's OTAs are more voluntary for some players than for others. Veterans such as Terrell Suggs, Chris Canty and Marshal Yanda have opted to skip OTAs in the past. They have built up enough equity within the organization, and coach John Harbaugh and Ozzie Newsome can (and must) trust that these veterans know what it takes to get ready for the grind of training camp.

But for players such as safety Matt Elam or linebacker Arthur Brown, skipping this voluntary OTA would be a huge red flag. Elam was publicly called out by general manager Ozzie Newsome this offseason, who declared bluntly that Elam, now entering his third year, simply must be better than he was last year. The extra reps of the OTAs can't hurt in that regard.

Likewise for Brown, who was a forgotten man last year. Brown, a second-round pick in 2013, did not play one defensive snap last season. So who benefits more from reps during OTAs -- Brown, or 12-year veteran Daryl Smith? Keep in mind that contact is prohibited during OTAs, but teams can take part in full 11-on-11 drills.

Quarterback Joe Flacco has been a presence at past OTAs, and this year that might be as important as ever, given that he needs to start building a rapport with top draft picks Breshad Perriman and Maxx Williams as well as with new offensive coordinator Marc Trestman.

Thursday's workout is open to the media, and that will give the first indication of who chose to sit out this week's session. Additional voluntary OTAs are June 1-3 and June 8-11.

Occasionally, there is some added drama when a player skips the mandatory minicamp (which results in a fine.) But no such issues are expected at this year's mandatory camp in June.


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Ravens' Eric DCosta not ruling out taking a quarterback at No. 16

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Ravens' Eric DCosta not ruling out taking a quarterback at No. 16

And with the No. 16 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Baltimore Ravens select.... a quarterback?

Assistant general manager, and soon to be general manager, Eric DeCosta isn't ruling out the possibility that the Ravens use their first-round pick on drafting a quarterback to eventually replace Joe Flacco. 

"I feel like if there is a guy there that we think is really too good to pass up, we're going to take him," DeCosta told the team's website on the chance of draft a quarterback in the first-round. 

Quarterback is just one of many offensive needs for the team. Joe Flacco's stats have been trending downward as the 33-year old is entering his 11th season.


Owner Steve Bisciotti though may disagree with DeCosta.

At his annual State of the Ravens press conference, Bisciotti said, "That’s not really something that we’re worried about right now. We’ve got bigger fish to fry, I guess. I don’t consider that a big worry," in regards to looking at life after Joe. Bisciotti also noted the team would be looking at all options in free agency and the draft for weapons for their QB.

From the sound of that, it appears the team's first choice would be a wideout, but the Ravens haven't drafted a quarterback since Joe Flacco back in 2008. 

The 2018 NFL Draft class has a handful of strong quarterbacks to choose from and not a ton of first-round wide receivers. 

Former Ravens scout, Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com has predicted the team with take Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield in the first-round. 

"It basically depends on our evaluation and how we feel about the guy, what we think he can become as a player and what we think his upside is and if he's there," DeCosta said

Backup Ryan Mallet is a free agent so the organization will have to find someone to fill the role, whether it's someone on a one year-deal, or the future QB of the franchise. 


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Ravens sign Michael Crabtree to three-year deal

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Ravens sign Michael Crabtree to three-year deal

The Baltimore Ravens have signed wide receiver 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 Schefter.

After being released by the Raiders on 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 wide receiver 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.