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Ravens rookie all smiles after strong preseason debut


Ravens rookie all smiles after strong preseason debut

Ravens rookie defensive lineman Carl Davis was all smiles after a preseason opener – and NFL preseason debut -- that was grueling by preseason opener standards but also quite impressive.

In the Ravens preseason-opening 30-27 win over the Saints, Davis started at defensive tackle and was still in the game in the fourth quarter, a workload rarely seen in Week 1 of the preseason. 

But with four Ravens defensive linemen – Chris Canty, DeAngelo Tyson, Timmy Jernigan and Brent Urban (torn biceps) not dressing for the game, the six who did dress had to pick up the slack. And Davis was up to the task.

Davis, a rookie third-round pick out of Iowa, officially finished with three tackles, a quarterback hit and a pass defensed, and he spent a lot of time in the Saints backfield. 

“Coach Brooks told me I was going to play a lot this week,” Davis said. ”I’ve been getting a lot of practice reps also. The whole defensive line has helped me get prepared … I was kind of expecting to play this much and I just did my best.”


Davis, 6-foot-5 and 320 pounds, is listed as the backup to nose tackle Brandon Williams. But he started alongside Williams with Jernigan out. His ability to play multiple spots along the Ravens defensive front was one of the reasons the valued him in the draft. 

““There were a couple of things where he didn’t hold his rush lanes … but other than that, against the basic run stuff, he was very active,” Harbaugh said. “Good hands, good feet, he penetrated the rushing lanes.”

Davis acknowledged that the speed of the NFL game is “definitely a lot faster” than college ball but he said, “Coach Harbaugh has us practicing at a high tempo. … We practice it ,and it’s just like the game.”

Davis finally left the game early in the fourth quarter when he cramped up. 

“He played a bunch of snaps, played ‘em all hard, I believe, we’ll see on the tape, basically played ‘em until he cramped up and we finally dragged him off the field,” Harbaugh said. 

By then, Davis had earned a breather with an impressive debut. 

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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?