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Revisiting Ravens loss to Patriots after Deflategate report


Revisiting Ravens loss to Patriots after Deflategate report

You can bet Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs is happy with the findings of the Ted Wells, Deflategate report. 

Tom Brady has never been one of Suggs’ favorites. And now, according to the Wells report, “Based on the evidence, we also have concluded that it is more probable than not that Tom Brady was at least partially aware of the inappropriate activities of (Jim) McNally and (John) Jastremski involving the release of air from Patriots game balls.”

Brady’s integrity is being questioned. Somewhere, Suggs is smiling.

Meanwhile, the report leaves the Ravens and every other NFL team with obvious questions, such as:


  • How severely will Brady be punished?

Other players will be waiting to see just how hard the league comes down on Brady, one of the league’s biggest stars. If the punishment is light, many players will be convinced Brady is receiving preferential treatment.

  • How long have Brady and two Patriots employees been looking for ways to provide Brady with underinflated footballs?

The underinflated footballs were discovered during the AFC Championship game, just one week after the Patriots defeated the Ravens, 35-31, in the divisional round. Was Brady throwing with footballs that were underinflated against the Ravens and other teams last season?

Ravens coach John Harbaugh made it clear before the Super Bowl that he did not tip off the Colts, or the NFL, about underinflated footballs after the Ravens-Patriots playoff game. Once the Colts complained, Harbaugh and the Ravens were content to let the league conduct its investigation.

“I never made any call,” Harbaugh said during NBC’s Super Bowl pre-game show. “Nobody in our organization made any call.”

However, the Wells report concluded that Brady’s claims of innocence were not very believable.

According to the report, Brady denied any knowledge of or involvement in any efforts to deflate game balls, and told investigators that before the events surrounding the AFC Championship Game, he didn't even know the name of Patriots locker room attendant Jim McNally.

"We found these claims not plausible and contradicted by other evidence," the Wells report concluded.

Now we’ll see if the NFL hits Brady harder than Suggs ever has.







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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?