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Ravens say spoiling Steelers' playoff hopes is 'biggest icing on the cake'


Ravens say spoiling Steelers' playoff hopes is 'biggest icing on the cake'

BALTIMORE -- The Ravens already know they can’t make the playoffs. But to help KO the playoff chances of their archrivals? Well, that might be the next best thing.

That was the prevailing mood in the Ravens locker room on Sunday after their stunning 20-17 win over the Steelers.

“It’s the Steelers. We just wanted to beat them. It’s even sweeter that we may have ruined their playoff chances,” defensive tackle Brandon Williams said. “That’s the biggest icing on the cake.”

The Ravens haven’t ruined the Steelers playoff chances, but they did put a big dent in them.

Had the Steelers won Sunday and the New York Jets lost, the Steelers would have clinched a playoff spot. Instead, the Steelers lost, and the Jets beat New England in overtime, which means the Steelers (9-6) miss the playoffs if the Jets beat Buffalo next week.

“Hey, if we can’t get in there, then you can’t get in, either,” cornerback Lardarius Webb said. “That’s how we want it.”

Webb called the win the most satisfying of the season, and he suggested that the Steelers were overconfident.

“I thought we had them all week where we wanted them,” Webb said. “With our record (4-10 entering the game), they came in and thought it was going to (be) bombs over Baghdad against us. That’s when we had them. So with them thinking that all week, we were thinking we were going to beat them, and we knew it. Guys came out and showed it.”

Guard Marshall Yanda said the notion that the Ravens might have derailed the Steelers playoff chances is “pretty awesome. … We always want to beat them, obviously. They’re in our division. That doesn’t change. We’re having a tough year, but it’s great to beat the Steelers.”

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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?