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Spotlight on: Jacoby Jones


Spotlight on: Jacoby Jones

(One of a series of articles exploring the status of individual players on the Ravens as the 2012 season approaches.)

The Ravens didnt have a ton of money to spend on acquiring new players this year, so they were careful with their purchases.

Of the handful of new players they added, none cost more than Jacoby Jones, the fleet receiverreturner who previously played for the Houston Texans.

The Ravens gave him a two-year, 7 million deal thinking he could become their primary kickoff and punt returner and also their No. 3 wide receiver two spots where the Ravens struggled in 2011.

Observing him through the spring season of OTAs and minicamps in Owings Mills, the Ravens liked what they saw from Jones as a returner. His burning speed and slashing style could produce some big plays in 2012. Jones reached the end zone four times in five years of running back kicks and punts for the Texans.

But is he ready to be the No. 3 receiver behind starters Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith? That remains to be seen.

Jones has enough issues with dropped balls and general inconsistency in Houston that the Texans let him go and drafted two new receivers as replacements. Although the Ravens in search of more offensive explosion were happy to scoop up a guy who absolutely blasts off the line into his routes, they did see him drop a few balls in the spring. Hmmm.

It goes without saying that they didnt bring in Jones just to return kicks, even though theyre excited to see him in that role. Their receivers other than Smith and Boldin totaled just eight receptions in 2011, and Joe Flacco obviously needs more than two downfield targets to make the passing game more dangerous. They want Jones to be that other target; the guys behind him on the depth chart have done little or nothing as receivers in the NFL.

Last season in Houston, Jones caught 31 passes for 512 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 16.5 yards per reception. Thats not far from the prototype the Ravens want a guy who can stretch fields and catch enough passes to make opposing defenses pay attention to him, possibly opening things up for the teams other receivers.

In 2010, Jones caught 51 passes in Houston, including three for touchdowns.

The Ravens dont necessarily need that much from Jones, but one way or another, they want solid receiving production from their biggest offseason acquisition.

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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?