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Reed: Secondary 'a lot better'


Reed: Secondary 'a lot better'

The Ravens will stare down a gauntlet of elite quarterbacks in 2012. With just a few exceptions, every opposing signal-caller on their schedule has either made the Pro Bowl or won a Super Bowl.

Theyll play both Mannings, Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger, all of whom have won Super Bowls (eight combined); Philip Rivers, who tore them apart last year; Michael Vick, one of the games singular talents; Tony Romo, who piles up stats for the Cowboys; and Matt Schaub, Andy Dalton and Matt Cassel, who have Pro Bowl appearances.

But when asked if he would approach the season any differently because of the caliber of the opposition, Ravens safety Ed Reed just laughed.

Bring them on, man. Im sure they are going to game-plan like they always do write (Reed's name) on their wristband and know Im there and all that. I welcome them. I look forward to them, Reed said.

He continued: Its a lot of respect for those guys. I never train any different or prepare any different for either game. Its always who I am going against and what we need to prepare for as a team. So, whether its Brady, Eli, those guys know who we are, and they are going to run their game plan the way they want to run their game plan. All we have to do is be ready.

Reed said he expects the secondary to be improved in 2012 with Bernard Pollard alongside him and Lardarius Webb, Jimmy Smith and Cary Williams playing the corners.

We have gotten a lot better, a lot older. Guys are maturing now, Reed said. Lardarius is a more mature guy who understands football a lot more. Bernard is having another year under his belt with us Jimmy Smith, too. We are going to be much better than we were last year. Guys know what to expect now."

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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?