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Reports of Danny Woodhead to the Ravens just what the backfield needs

Reports of Danny Woodhead to the Ravens just what the backfield needs

The Ravens freed up some significant salary cap space on Wednesday afternoon with the releasal of Elvis Dumervil.

The team wasted little time using some of that money.

On Wednesday night, after the team reportedly signed Cardinals safety Tony Jefferson, the team reportedly signed San Diego Chargers running back Danny Woodhead, according to Ian Rapoport.

Woodhead is one of the most unique and dynamic backs in the entire NFL.

At just 5-8, Woodhead is one of the smallest, yet most elusive runners in the league, and is one of the top pass-catching backs as well. Given the Ravens' propensity for short passes, Woodhead is the perfect addition.

The one downside to this addition is that Woodhead has a lengthy injury history. He missed all but two games in 2016 due to a torn ACL and missed all but three games in 2014 due to a fractured fibula and ankle injury. However, his 2013 and 2015 seasons, both with the Chargers, were injury-free and outstanding.

In 2013 he finished with 429 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns to go along with his 605 receiving yards and six receiving touchdowns. In 2015 he ran for 336 yards and three touchdowns and racked up 755 receiving yards and hauled in six touchdown catches. 

The Ravens had a capable backfield in 2016 with Terrence West and Kenneth Dixon, but neither was spectacular. Woodhead brings a dynamic element that the team just did not have, and should allow deep passes to open up for Joe 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?