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Smith: 'I'm glad I came back up here'


Smith: 'I'm glad I came back up here'

Torrey Smith made a long, painful drive back from Virginia to Baltimore on Sunday, his body wracked by grief and fatigue.

After learning of the fatal motorcycle accident that killed his brother, Tevin Jones, last Saturday night in Virginia, Smith drove there to be with family. He didnt sleep on the way there, or the rest of the night. He said he finally dozed off for about an hour early Sunday morning before returning to Baltimore, where the Ravens were preparing to play a big early-season game against the Patriots.

The Ravens left the decision on whether Smith would play up to him, and he said he decided at about 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon that he would play.

And wow, did he ever play.

Fueled by sheer adrenaline and emotion, Smith finished with six catches for 127 yards and two touchdowns, leading the Ravens to an emotional, thrilling 31-30 win.

After his touchdowns, cheers of Torrey! Torrey! rained down from the announced crowd of 71,269, and there were more emotional hugs than usual for him on the sideline.

When Torrey said he wanted to play, the decision was finished, coach John Harbaugh said. He was going to get the opportunity to play. He deserved that. If it didnt work out, then wed have known, and hed have known. Obviously, hes a pretty special guy.

Smith, who was fighting back tears moments before the game, said afterward that, Emotionally, I didnt know how Id hold up.

Being a receiver, youve got to have your mind clear, he added. You cant have anything weighing on (making you) tense up, thats going to cause you to drop the ball, or have mistakes, and I didnt want to hurt my team. I came here and ran around and the more comfortable I started to feel.

Im glad I came back up here. I think it helped me out a lot.

Jacoby Jones said that in the hours before the game, Im just trying to make him laugh, talk about something different just to ease his mind.

To be able to suffer something like that and come step in between those white lines and play the way he played? I think its great, Jones added. I look up to him. I dont know if Id be able to do that.

Added cornerback Lardarius Webb: If I lose my brother, I dont know if I could play. So I have to look at his character and think hes a very strong guy. Hes a strong cat.

Smith said that much of his extended family, still back in Virginia, wasnt even sure whether he would play, but then he texted his mother to let him know hed be on the field.

She was excited about it, he said. She was like, Of course he would want you to play.

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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?