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Ravens sign Rice to five-year deal


Ravens sign Rice to five-year deal

In a dramatic offseason maneuver, the Ravens signed running back Ray Rice to a five-year contract just minutes before Mondays deadline for franchise players.

Rice, who led the NFL in yards from scrimmage in 2011, landed a 40 million deal that includes 24 million in guaranteed salary, including 17 million in the first year.

Although the deal's total value is smaller than the deals signed by other top running backs such as Philadelphia's LeSean McCoy and Houston's Arian Foster since the end of last season, Rice is getting several million more than the others in guaranteed money, with the bulk of it coming in the first two years of the deal.

No matter how you slice it or look at it, Rice is now a wealthy young man.

"Baltimore I'm back well I never left lol" Rice tweeted shortly after the deal was struck.

This is another example of (Ravens owner) Steve Bisciottis commitment to the team and to our fans to retain our core players," Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome said in a statement, adding that Rice's "production on the field speaks for itself, and his leadership in the locker room is outstanding."

The negotiations went right up to the deadline. There was no news from either side and little reason for optimism until a half hour before the deadline when Ravens fullback Vonta Leach tweeted: @RayRice27 and the ravens will get a deal done.

His tweet proved prophetic.

Once the news of the deal spread, Rice's teammates weigh in immediately on Twitter.

"YESSIR!!!!!!!" receiver Torrey Smith wrote.

Even the baseball team across town weighed in, as Orioles outfielder Adam Jones tweeted, "Congrats to my dude @RayRice27 on his new contract. Let's do something special in Bmore for years to come my man. Ball outrageous."

Rice had walked into the Ravens' training facility around 3:15 p.m. to be on hand as his attorney, Todd France, negotiated with Pat Moriarty, the Ravens' vice-president for football administration. After the deal was struck, Rice left the facility to celebrate with his family without speaking to the media.

With the move, the Ravens lock up the services of their offensive engine, who has generated more 6,600 yards of rushing and receiving yards in four seasons, making two trips to the Pro Bowl in the process.

The deal also eliminates the potential distraction of wondering whether Rice would miss part of training camp, as was his right as a franchise player. Rice skipped the teams entire offseason program, including the mandatory minicamp last month.

When the Ravens hold their first training camp practice on July 26, Rice will be on the field with his teammates for the first time since the AFC title game in January.

With Rice locked up, the Ravens will not face the possibility of seeingthree of their cornerstone players (Rice, quarterback Joe Flacco and safety EdReed) simultaneously reach unrestricted free agency after the 2012 season.

Now, signing Flacco becomes the priority.

According to Pro Football Talk, Rice is receiving a 15 million signing bonus along with a non-guaranteed base salary of 2 million in 2012. (As if they would cut him.) A 7 million option bonus is due in March 2013, with a 1 million base salary for the 2013 season.

For those keeping score at home, that's 24 million in Rice's pocket by next March. Rice is due to earn a base salary of 4 million in 2014 and 3 million in both 2015 and 2016.

The deal also includes a 5 million bonus structure, as spelled out by Pro Football Talk: "If he reaches specific rushingreceiving targets in any of the first three years of the deal, and if the team finishes in the top 10 in total offense, Rice receives a 1 million incentive in the year he accomplishes the feat and another 4 million is spread over the remaining years of the deal."

Not bad.

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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?