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Rookie RB Allen didn't win points with fumble


Rookie RB Allen didn't win points with fumble

If rookie Buck Allen is going to be the Ravens’ No. 2 running back, he can’t fumble away a potential touchdown like he did Saturday night.

“It’s my job to hold onto the rock and get into the end zone,” Allen said after the Redskins’ 31-13 victory. “Put two hands on the ball and hold on tight. So I can’t blame (anybody) but myself.”

Allen appeared to be headed for a score just before halftime, but on fourth-and-goal from the one, he fumbled into the end zone and Chris Baker of the Redskins recovered. Meanwhile, undrafted rookie Terrence Magee (four carries, 13 yards) remained very much in the picture to make the 53-man roster, and to earn more carries in the preseason finale at Atlanta.

Asked about Allen, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said he liked the effort, but that turnovers would not be tolerated.

“I thought he ran hard,” Harbaugh said. “He had some good pick-ups in pass protection, but you have to hold onto the football. As a running back, it’s just not possible to put runners out there that fumble the football. He’s going to have other opportunities and chances going forward, and I really believe he’s going to be a very good player. But he’s going to have to learn from that.”

The Ravens’ running game (55 yards) sputtered, but Magee showed flashes of the speed and power that has been evident since training camp began. With the status of Lorenzo Taliaferro (sprained knee) unknown for Week 1, the Ravens will likely take an extra running back to Denver to face the Broncos. Magee, an undrafted rookie from LSU, is showing he wants to be that guy. Fitz Toussaint is also in the mix at running back, but Toussaint did not have a carry Saturday night.

“He’s a hard runner,” Harbaugh said of Magee. “That’s probably what you see the most. He takes it North, South, and lowers his pads. And he looks like a Southeastern Conference runner out there. He’s very physical.”

However, Taliaferro's injury leaves the current depth chart behind starting running back Justin Forsett in flux. Just one of many questions the Ravens are looking to clarify as the regular season approaches.



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Ravens sign Michael Crabtree to three-year deal

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Ravens sign Michael Crabtree to three-year deal

The Baltimore Ravens have signed wide receiver 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 Schefter.

After being released by the Raiders on 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 wide receiver 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?