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Vegas oddsmakers remain high on Ravens' chances


Vegas oddsmakers remain high on Ravens' chances

Count the bookmakers in Las Vegas among those who expect the Ravens to be a playoff team again next season. Bovada has released its latest odds to win the next Super Bowl, and the Ravens are at 25-1. In the AFC, only the Colts (8-1) and the Patriots (9-1) are stronger favorites.  Here’s the complete list that can be found at bovada.com:

Odds to win the 2016 Super Bowl

Green Bay Packers                    6/1 

Seattle Seahawks                      13/2 

Indianapolis Colts                      8/1 

New England Patriots                9/1 

Dallas Cowboys                        10/1 

Denver Broncos                        12/1 

Philadelphia Eagles                   20/1 

Arizona Cardinals                      25/1 

Baltimore Ravens                      25/1 

Pittsburgh Steelers                    25/1 

New York Giants                       28/1 

Buffalo Bills                              33/1 

Cincinnati Bengals                     33/1 

Kansas City Chiefs                    33/1 

Miami Dolphins                         33/1 

Minnesota Vikings                     33/1 

San Francisco 49ers                  33/1 

Atlanta Falcons                         40/1 

Carolina Panthers                      40/1 

Detroit Lions                             40/1 

New Orleans Saints                   40/1 

Chicago Bears                          50/1 

Houston Texans                        50/1 

New York Jets                           50/1 

San Diego Chargers                  50/1 

St. Louis Rams                         50/1 

Oakland Raiders                        66/1 

Cleveland Browns                      75/1 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers             100/1 

Washington Redskins                125/1 

Jacksonville Jaguars                 200/1 

Tennessee Titans                       200/1 

Interesting that the Colts are the current AFC favorite over the Patriots, the reigning Super Bowl champs. That may have something to do with Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s four-game suspension.

After making the playoffs six of the last seven years, the Ravens are clearly regarded as a team to watch in the AFC. However, Steelers and Ravens fans can get the same odds at the moment, while the Bengals are not far behind. Vegas clearly expects the AFC North to be a three-team race again, while the Browns (75-1) are once again not getting much respect. Some things never seem to change.





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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?