OWINGS MILLS, MD — Pump the breaks, Ryan Grant may not become a Baltimore Raven anymore.
Late Thursday afternoon, when John Brown and Grant were both visiting the Ravens’ facilities in Owings Mills, something was revealed during Grant’s physical that concerned the Ravens enough to take their four-year, $29 million ($14.5 million guaranteed) off the table. According to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, an ankle problem is what costed Grant his contract with Baltimore.
Perhaps the voided contract is a blessing in disguise for Baltimore. Despite four seasons in the NFL, Grant remains an unproven player with less than 1,000 career receiving yards to his name. Nevertheless, the Ravens still offered him the second-largest receiver contract in franchise history. This brought all sorts of criticism from fans, who are probably relived that the Ravens are not throwing $14.5 million Grant’s way anymore.
While Grant may be heading back to the free agent pool, a contract with the Ravens could still happen. What exactly the Ravens saw with his ankle is unclear, but perhaps the Ravens eventually offer Grant a cheaper deal. Either way, signing a wide receiver who has yet to post 90 yards in a game was a puzzling move, and it’s probably for the best that the money originally intended for Grant goes to other areas of need for the Ravens.
Crabtree to visit Owings Mills: Around the same time that the Grant news came out on Thursday, reports also surfaced that free agent wide receiver Michael Crabtree will visit the Ravens on Friday. The Oakland Raiders parted ways with Crabtree after agreeing to a two-year contract with Jordy Nelson.
Crabtree, the 10th-overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, spent the last three seasons in Oakland after his first six NFL seasons with the San Fransisco 49ers. Crabtree was on the Niners team that the Ravens defeated in Super Bowl 47.
In nine seasons, Crabtree has caught 579 passes for 6,870 yards and 51 touchdowns. He may not qualify as a true #1 receiver, but he fits the veteran free agent receiver mold that the Ravens have built a reputation on. After cutting Jeremy Maclin on Wednesday, the Ravens lack an established veteran receiver who can lead that position. As the case always is with the salary cap-troubled Ravens, the ability to bring Crabtree to Baltimore will ride on one thing: the price tag.