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Predictions on some second-half changes for Ravens


Predictions on some second-half changes for Ravens

There's no question that some things will be different when the Ravens return next week. The coaches are working on ways to help on both sides of the ball, and there's going to be changes somewhere. 

Here's a few predictions for what might look a little different:

1. Ray Rice will get the ball a lot more. This issue's been discussed ad nauseum so far, but even if the Ravens want to play with that no-huddle offense, they've got to get the ball into his hands. He's one of the top backs in the NFL and what makes him so dangerous is that he can run and catch. Not every good back can do that. He can lift the offense all by himself.

2. Bernard Pierce should get more action. He can fill the role that Ricky Williams did, giving Rice a break, and giving the Ravens a good powerful runner that defenses won't love to see.

3. Vonta Leach should get more action. He's a brutal blocker at fullback. Add these first three together, and, to me, it's easy to see why the Ravens might run more in the second half. 

4. The defense is going to improve for a few reasons. First, Terrell Suggs is back, and that changes a lot of things. Second, the younger players are working at learning the game and learning their roles. That stuff just takes time. They aren't going to make major moves, so the Ravens are going to have to see what they can do with who they've got.

5. The cornerbacks will do better. Jimmy Smith played stronger in the second half of last year, and Cary Williams will do the same this season. He's coming back off of some health problems in the off-season and is showing signs of finding his way again. Plus, with Suggs back and a better pass rush in place, that will help everything. 

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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?