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The view from the Cleveland media


The view from the Cleveland media

The tenor comingout of Cleveland in the wake of the Ravens' 23-16 win over the Browns onThursday night is largely positive. After all, despite a slow start offensively, the Brownshad the ball in their hands with a chance to tie on the game's final play in avenue where the Ravens hardly ever lose.It was a gameeffort from a young team with some potential, but in the end, it was the sameresult for the Browns, who fall to 0-4 and remain the AFC's only winless team.Here is how someof the Cleveland media saw the game:Mary Kay Cabot,Cleveland Plain Dealer"Brownsquarterback Brandon Weeden and his young, inexperienced receivers grew up a lotin Baltimore Thursday night, making the Ravens sweat it out until the last playof the game when they had a chance to tie it. But in the end, Weeden couldn'tkeep pace with Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco and his veteran crew."Craig Lyndall,Waitingfornextyear.com "The ClevelandBrowns certainly didnt embarrass themselves (just like Josh Cribbs said) inlosing 23-16 to the Ravens, but this team seems to be the absolute opposite ofopportunistic. You have to give the Browns credit for having a plan on defense.They got gashed at times, but they kept Ray Rice under control and got somepressure on Joe Flacco. Offensively, youhave to give them credit for running plays that gave them chances to stay closewith one of the best teams in the league, but you have to win at some point.Too many field goals (three) and not enough touchdowns (one.) Staying closefeels like something worth building on for a while. But just being close couldvery well start to weigh heavier and heavier on this team until (or if) theyfinally make two or three more of those big plays and win a game."

Terry Pluto,Cleveland Plain Dealer"The Browns wereplaying a legitimate Super Bowl contender on a field where Baltimore had won 20of its last 21 before Thursday night. Joe Flacco has matured from a goodquarterback to one of the best in the NFL, and he threw for 356 yards. The Ravensentered the night averaging 33 points -- against New England, Cincinnati andPhiladelphia. While Baltimore's defense has not been as dominating as in thepast, these guys still hit you hard enough to make you grab for the aspirin, ifonly you can remember where you put it.
That's why Ifeared the Browns would be embarrassed on national television. Instead, theyplayed with a lot of heart, keeping the game reasonably close and showing thecountry that Trent Richardson has a chance to be an impact running back."Marla Ridenour,Akron Beacon-Journal "Yes, theBrowns are still wildly inconsistent. They couldnt come up with a big play ondefense when within striking distance. Injuries and cornerback Joe Hadenssuspension continue to leave them lacking in depth and talent, especially asthey attempted to cover Ravens receiver Anquan Boldin, who caught nine passesfor 131 yards. There seems no urgency in play-calling when they fall behind inthe first three quarters, the no-huddle apparently lost on page 999 of an imaginary1,000-page playbook. The Browns bench drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penaltywith 5:27 to go, which doesnt reflect well on Shurmur. ... But the Ravensare expected to be Super Bowl contenders. The Browns didnt roll over as theyhad four days before. They rediscovered their pride, which seemed lacking inthe second half against the Bills."
Nate Ulrich,Akron Beacon-Journal "With thelights shining bright on a national stage, the Browns fired their slingshot andjust missed Goliath by a hair. The Browns started their final drive with 1:05left in the fourth quarter and scratched and clawed enough to put themselves instriking distance at the end of the game, but the Baltimore Ravens escaped apotential upset."

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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?