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Vegas not sold on Ravens, but Newsome being patient


Vegas not sold on Ravens, but Newsome being patient

Heading into the draft, Las Vegas does not view the Ravens as a Super Bowl contender. Vegasinsider.com gives the Ravens 35-1 odds to win Super Bowl 51, tied with the Raiders for 15th best in the NFL.

At the Ravens’ pre-draft luncheon, general manager Ozzie Newsome was asked how close the Ravens were to being contenders. Newsome said it was too early to answer, though he was pleased to acquire wide receiver Mike Wallace, tight end Ben Wallace, and safety Eric Weddle during free agency.

“I think I can probably answer that better after the third preseason game,” Newsome said.

“It will be around the third or fourth preseason game (before I can answer that question). And then, if you listen to some of the other people in the business, it normally takes you through the first four games before you find out what team you really have. So we will take that same path in trying to find out where this team is going to be. Based on our acquisitions so far and hopefully the health we’ll get back, we should be better. We lost a lot of close games last year, and maybe guys can make a play or two to help us out and we can win some of those games that we lost.”

The Ravens own the sixth pick in the draft because they had the worst record (5-11) in coach John Harbaugh’s eight-year tenure. The Ravens view last season as an anomaly. They expect to bounce back like they did in 2014, when they finished 10-6 and reached the divisional round of the playoffs, following an 8-8 season in 2013.

It’s reasonable to expect the Ravens to be healthier next season, and that alone could make them better. But jumping from 5-11 back into the playoffs? They need a strong draft to improve the odds of that happening.

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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?