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Ravens depending on Breshad Perriman to become true No. 1 receiver

Ravens depending on Breshad Perriman to become true No. 1 receiver

The development of wide receiver Breshad Perriman remains extremely important to the Ravens as they continue planning for next season.

The team’s need for more production at wide receiver is clear. Steve Smith Sr. is retired and working for NFL Network. Only four Ravens wide receivers are under contract for next season – Perriman, Mike Wallace, Chris Moore, and Michael Campanaro.

It’s too early to call Perriman a bust as a first-round pick in 2015 (26th overall). However, Perriman has not given the Ravens what they expected to this point, after missing his entire rookie season with injuries, and catching 33 passes for 499 yards and three touchdowns last season.

When you draft a wide receiver in the first round, you expect him to develop into a 1,000-yard receiver.

Nine of the top 10 players in receiving yards in 2016 were drafted in the third round or higher. Five were drafted in the first round – Julio Jones of the Falcons, Odell Beckham Jr. of the Giants, Mike Evans of the Buccaneers, Brandin Cooks of the Saints, and Amari Cooper of the Raiders. Three were drafted in the second round – Jordy Nelson of the Packers, Michael Thomas of the Saints, and Jarvis Landry of the Dolphins - while T. Y. Hilton of the Colts was a third-round pick.

The only top-10 player in receiving yards who was drafted after the third round was Antonio Brown of the Steelers, a sixth-round pick in 2010.

Even if the Ravens acquire a veteran wide receiver in free agency, or spend a draft high pick on a wide receiver, they need more from Perriman starting next season.

“You do not have to have a true No. 1 to have a great passing attack,” coach John Harbaugh said after the season. “But I sure hope Breshad Perriman becomes a true No. 1. To me, there are signs that is possible. But he has a ways to go, he has a lot of work to do to get it done. You see the radius and you see the speed, and I think you see that here is a guy who has a chance. Now, he has to refine his route-running, he has to refine his hands, his catching and just become an all-around really good receiver.”

MORE RAVENS: A first look at the Ravens's 2018 Super Bowl odds

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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?