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In a change of heart, Ravens re-sign veteran DB Lardarius Webb

In a change of heart, Ravens re-sign veteran DB Lardarius Webb

BY TYLER BYRUM, @theTylerByrum

When free agency began this offseason, general manager Ozzie Newsome and the Baltimore Ravens made their goal clear: improve their defensive secondary. At first it appeared that Lardarius Webb was not going to be a factor for the team to achieve that goal, but even NFL teams can change their mind. 

Immediately the team signed safety Tony Jefferson when the free agency period began. Being the odd man out, the Ravens then waived the eight-year veteran Webb who had been with the team his entire tenure in the NFL.

But in a change of heart, just over a month following his release, Webb re-signed with the Ravens for a three-year deal, reportedly worth $10.5 million.

Drafted from by the Ravens in the third round back in 2009, the natural cornerback got moved to the team's full safety position after seven seasons at that position last year. Helping the defense rank No. 1 in the NFL in interceptions, Webb had one of his most productive seasons, stats-wise, and appeared to be adjusting to the position. In eight years, he has amassed 13 interceptions and 374 tackles for the team. 

The 31-year-old also has seen time on the special teams unit, returning both kick-offs and punts. Devin Hester though took over the return duties last year. 

Due to his age, and slight loss of speed, it appeared the team was comfortable letting him go back on March 10.

It would not at all be surprising if this was a move made to renegotiate Webb's contract that was expected to last at least two more seasons and take a cap-hit at $5.5 million this year. Although, normally that is a move made within a day or two of the player's release, not a month like the case for the Ravens. Fortunately for the team, he was not picked up by another team in free agency.

Since his release, the team has also brought in veteran Cowboys corner, Brandon Carr to go alongside Jimmy Smith. With a heavy defensive back roster in the 2017 NFL draft, this move all but eliminates an early round pickup at that position, but Newsome has made clear he can change his mind.

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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?