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Thompson: 'I just want to be a Raven'


Thompson: 'I just want to be a Raven'

ST. LOUIS -- After Thursday's preseason game which rookie helps himself the most?

Probably Deonte Thompson, who is trying to carve out a spot on the 53-man roster that likely will be heavy on receivers.

That means Thompson, an undrafted rookie, is on the perimeter of making the cut but showed he can be a threat on special teams consistently.

Thompson had several solid kick returns as he averaged 31 yards on three of them and an 11-yard touchdown catch -- across the middle even though he was well-covered -- in the 31-17 loss to the St. Louis Rams. He led all Ravens receivers with six catches for 68 yards.

"He made some plays ... He did well. He's going to have to be a coverage guy too," said coach John Harbaugh, noting that's if Thompson makes the team. "He's going to have to cover punts as a gunner and kicks as an outside guy as well."

Thompson feels good about his chance to make the cut.

"I going to try not to think about it," he said. "I think I played pretty solid, in all phases, special teams. I tried to put on a show and increase my value for the team."

The Ravens have put more emphasis on having quick-strike weapons. The special teams play, which can be shaky at times, needs all the help it can get. Thompson has come close to breaking a few returns for touchdowns already.

"That's how I want to be known. I want to be known as a game-changer," he said. "A guy that can pop the play every time the ball touches his hands. Thats my goal every game I go to. "

And if he makes it just as a special teams player?

"That's great," Thompson said. "I just want to be a Raven."

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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?