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Offseason outlook: Predicting Ravens salary cap casualties

Offseason outlook: Predicting Ravens salary cap casualties

The Ravens could have a lengthy list of salary cap casualties this offseason, coming off an 8-8 season and looking to get younger and faster. Here are nine veterans under contract who are in danger of being cut, and a prediction on whether they will stay, or go:

Kyle Arrington, CB

Prediction: He’s gone.

Arrington spent 2016 on injured reserve (concussion), and took a pay cut last year to avoid being cut. The Ravens need to upgrade their cornerback unit, and Arrington isn’t in those plans.

Elvis Dumervil, LB

Prediction: He’s gone.

Dumervil’s production has tailed off the past two seasons, he turned 33 years old last month, and the Ravens could save $6 million in cap space by releasing him.

Kendrick Lewis, S

Prediction: He’s gone.

Lewis only played six games last season before being sent to injured reserve. After playing 10 games without Lewis, the Ravens can adjust to playing 16 games without him.

Dennis Pitta, TE

Prediction: He stays.

This is a tough decision, because the Ravens have younger tight ends and could save $3.3 million by cutting Pitta. However, Pitta is coming off a productive season, and he’s a favorite target of Joe Flacco. Pitta may have to take a pay cut, but I think the odds favor him staying.

Mike Wallace, WR

Prediction: He stays.

Why would the Ravens consider parting with Wallace, coming off a 1,000-yard season? Cutting Wallace would save the Ravens $5.5 million in cap space, and they might sign a less expensive veteran wide receiver in free agency. This is another tough call, but with their need for speed, and the retirement of Steve Smith Sr., I think the Ravens decide to keep Wallace.

Ben Watson, TE

Prediction: He’s gone.

Watson missed the entire 2016 season with an Achilles injury and he is 36 years old. Don’t think the Ravens will keep both Watson and Pitta. I think Watson will be the one who goes.

Lardarius Webb, S

Prediction: He stays.

Webb proved he could make the transition from corner to safety. Keeping Webb gives the Ravens one less need to fill.

Shareece Wright, CB

Prediction: He’s gone.

Wright has given up far too many big plays, and the Ravens could take a corner in the first round.

Jeremy Zuttah, C

Prediction: He’s gone.

This could go either way, but cutting Zuttah would save the Ravens almost $2.4 million. They are looking for a bigger, more physical center, and the Ravens are not afraid to play young offensive linemen. Either through the draft, free agency, or trade, I think the Ravens will make a move for a new starting center.

MORE RAVENS: Steve Smith lands shiny new TV gig

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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?