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Ravens telling teams 'no' on trade calls for Steve Smith


Ravens telling teams 'no' on trade calls for Steve Smith

The chances of Steve Smith playing for the Ravens next season are greater than the chances of him being traded.

With Tuesday’s NFL trade deadline looming, it’s no surprise teams are calling the Ravens to see if Smith is available. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, multiple teams have inquired to see if the Ravens would deal Smith, but the Ravens have told everyone that Smith is not available.

Both Ravens coach John Harbaugh and Smith squashed the Smith trade rumors last month. Harbaugh said there was “no chance” the Ravens would trade Smith.

Smith took it a step further, saying he would probably quit if the Ravens traded him. Why? Smith is happy with the Ravens, despite their 1-6 record, and he wants to finish his career with them. There are no guarantees Smith would win a Super Bowl regardless of where he was traded, and he has made peace with the possibility that he may retire without a ring.

The bigger question is whether Smith will stick to his retirement plans. He’s still the Ravens’ best receiver at age 36, and his agent, Derrick Fox, isn’t squashing the possibility of Smith returning next season.

“I think he’s committed to the concept (of retirement), but I don’t think that the reality of it has set in that it means he can’t do what he loves to do and lives to do,” Fox told Jim Trotter of ESPN recently.  “Pick me out any stadium on any Sunday anywhere in the NFL, and there’s not a guy that comes out on that field that loves to compete more than Steve – and he’s never lost that.

“I know this guy better than anybody but his wife. I’ve told him, ‘I don’t think you’re really going to retire.’ The guy is just an insane competitor, and I think as long as his body works appropriately he’s really going to have a hard time next August saying, ‘Oh wow. Guys are going to camp’. He’s never experienced it his entire life, and he’s got a lot left in the tank.”

When asked to gauge the chance that Smith would return next season, Fox said. “I’m right at 50-50.”

The Ravens would give Smith as much time as he needed to reconsider his plans to retire. And that’s a major reason they are telling teams that Smith is not available.

[RELATED: Harbaugh on Johnson's confusing run: 'I got no explanation']

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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?