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Painful cuts


Painful cuts

It's cut-down dayin Baltimore, and that's no fun. Certainly not for the players being giventheir walking papers, and not for coaches, either.
Billy Cundiff wassent packing on Sunday, perhaps the biggest Ravens name that will hit thewaiver wire this week. More cuts followed -- eight on Sunday -- and there mustbe more on Monday as the Ravens trim a 90-man training camp roster down to 75by 4 p.m. on Monday.The realbloodbath takes place later this week; the Ravens have to cut down to theirfinal 53-man squad by Friday afternoon.
Orioles Hall ofFame manager Earl Weaver once said of cutting players, "You're the one whotells them all the worst news of their life."Such is theplight for Ravens coach John Harbaugh this week, who will sit down with severalplayers and tell them their time as a Raven -- and perhaps their NFL dreamaltogether -- is over.
Harbaugh's media statement on Sunday suggests he was genuinely pained with the decision to release Cundiff, a likeable guy and the Ravens former All-Pro kicker who was beaten out for his job by rookie Justin Tucker.

"These decisions are never easy, and this one was difficult for all of us," he said.
Harbaugh said onSaturday that there are harder days as a coach than cut-down day, but,"Thats right up there. No doubt. You have guys that have given so much,have worked so hard, who have helped make us, in the end, who we become as afootball team, who dont get a chance to go on with the team. ...
"Sitting down with those guys face-to-faceis very challenging, because you develop a relationship with them, and youreally care about them and they care about the program."But in the NFL,there isn't a lot of room for sentiment when it comes to the cold calculus of a53-man roster. There simple isn't room for the eighth-best receiver, or for thefifth-best tight end, no matter how much sweat equity they've put into theprogram. In the end, the math has to add up to 53, and all others are shown thedoor. Thanks fortrying, son, now hand in your playbook.
"Everybodydeals with it differently," Harbaugh said. "Some guys are mad, someguys are sad. Its all different; every single guy faces it in a different way.They are all good guys, and that probably makes it that much tougher."

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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?