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Ravens have four new potential weapons for Joe Flacco

Ravens have four new potential weapons for Joe Flacco

Joe Flacco didn’t have enough dependable weapons last season, especially after Steve Smith Sr. went down with an Achilles injury. The Ravens believe they have given their starting quarterback far more to work with this year.

Here are four players who didn’t catch a single pass from Flacco last season who should be targets in 2016:

Chris Moore, 4th-round draft pick, WR

Why he’s important: If nothing else, Moore is a deep threat who should help the Ravens’ vertical game. Even if he struggles with some of his routes as a rookie, Moore can run a straight line, and Flacco has the arm to take advantage of Moore’s speed. When Moore is on field, defensive backs must respect his speed, which could open up opportunities underneath for other players.

Breshad Perriman, 2015 draft pick, WR

Why he’s important: Nobody doubts Perriman has the talent to contribute if he stays healthy. Missing his entire rookie season with a knee injury makes Perriman almost like a rookie again. But unlike last season, when Perriman was being counted on right away, the Ravens have more quality depth at wide receiver. The Ravens hope this will take some pressure off Perriman, and his size (6-foot-3, 209 pounds) makes him more than just a speed guy. If healthy, Perriman should help the Ravens convert on third downs and in the red zone.

Mike Wallace, eighth NFL season, WR

Why he’s important: Another speed guy, Wallace has something to prove, and more experience than Perriman or Moore. Remember the big plays Jacoby Jones made during the Ravens’ last Super Bowl year? The Ravens envision Wallace having that kind of impact. While his production was a disappointment with both the Dolphins and Vikings, it should be noted that Wallace still had 10 touchdown catches for the Dolphins in 2014. Wallace will turn just 30 years old in August. His legs still have some juice.

Ben Watson, 13th NFL season, TE

Why he’s important: Acquiring Watson during free agency gives the Ravens a veteran tight end presence, regardless of what happens with Dennis Pitta’s comeback attempt from hip surgery. Crockett Gillmore and Maxx Williams will also get reps in the tight end rotation, but Watson equaled his career-high last season with six touchdown catches for the Saints. Watson built a red zone rapport with Saints quarterback Drew Bress, and the Ravens believe he will build the same connection with Flacco.

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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?