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Why Steve Smith will be staying in a hotel during training camp


Why Steve Smith will be staying in a hotel during training camp

OWINGS MILLS - When Steve Smith arrived in Owings Mills to prepare for training camp he was greeted by an unpleasant surprise. The garage ceiling in the home he rents near the Ravens practice facility had collapsed, due to a leaking pipe.  So instead of staying at home during training camp, Smith will be staying in a hotel.

“My garage ceiling was my garage floor, and it was water – a little baby stream coming out of my garage,” Smith said Monday at his Football ProCamp for kids at Owings Mills High School, sponsored by Northwestern Mutual.

“The only part I’m looking forward (in) camp, is the hotel. I had to shut off the water to the whole house for three hours. It’s going to be an interesting project going on in my garage. I’m kind of looking forward to the hotel life and the West coast life during the season, because they’re going to be doing some minor construction at my house.”

Smith was superb in is his first season with the Ravens (79 catches, 1,065 yards) after 13 seasons with the Panthers. Ravens coach John Harbaugh regularly gave Smith some days off during training camp last year, wanting to rest his legs. But Smith sometimes declined those days off, because he wanted to familiarize himself with the offense in his first season in Baltimore.

During this upcoming training camp, Smith, who is 36 years old, believes he will take more breaks.

“Obviously I’m a lot more comfortable, I feel more at home, less stress, less anxiety – how am I going to fit in,” Smith said. “I don’t wonder anymore, now I know how it is.”

However, don’t get the idea that Smith will be resting on his laurels. Asked if he anticipated playing the same number of snaps next season, Smith said. “I anticipate it. I anticipate playing more snaps and playing further into January.”

By then, Smith’s home repairs should be finished.

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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?