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Smith Sr. gives time to kids, but gives no clue about his future


Smith Sr. gives time to kids, but gives no clue about his future

OWINGS MILLS – Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith gets around on a stand-up scooter these days, but still knows how to be a difference maker.

Smith was one of many players shopping with Baltimore area youngsters Monday, helping the Ravens with their 11th annual Holiday Helpers event. Ravens helped kids at the Target of Owings Mills, acting as their personal helpers as they went on a shopping spree for their families.

Smith refused to discuss his future, and whether he planned to retire or return to the Ravens next season. Due to surgery on his torn Achilles, Smith’s injured leg was elevated as he moved around the store on a personalized scooter. Smith said it had been difficult needing help with everyday tasks.

“It’s been a real challenge because of the helplessness that I’ve felt, and I say the burden I’ve put on my wife,” Smith said. “We have an 18-month old, and a 36-year-old that needs help with things. For the first two weeks, just getting clothes off and doing all that stuff was difficult, because I had a cast. I had a bag over my leg to take a shower. The first seven days I didn’t even leave the house.

“It’s been tough. If this event was three weeks ago, I wouldn’t be as smiling. I was down and depressed, feeling a certain way.”

However, Smith was talking trash as he shopped. He has an ongoing battle with Ravens running back Justin Forsett about which player is taller. Smith told the kids shopping with Forsett, “Let me know if you need help getting something that’s high up on the shelves. He (Forsett) can’t reach it.”

While Smith was having fun, he also asked kids to think about others in their family as they shopped.

“We’re not only giving them an opportunity to shop, we’re also telling them, “Hey, you got any other family members that you think you can help out, that need something?”’ Smith said. “We got one kid, he was like, ‘Oh, I want to get a watch for my grandmother.’ Those are the important things, for him to get this opportunity, but to also be selfless. What else can I do for someone else?”

Smith was asked what one thing he wanted for Christmas.

“A healthy Achilles,” Smith said.

An early Christmas present for Ravens’ fans would be for Smith to announce that he plans to return next season. But if that announcement is coming, it will have to wait.


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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?