Ravens void Grant’s contract after failed physical, Crabtree to visit Friday

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.

Image Credit: USA Today, Chat Sports




Ravens release Jeremy Maclin

OWINGS MILLS, MD — Less than a day after signing two free agent wide receivers in the forms of John Brown and Ryan Grant, the Baltimore Ravens released veteran wideout Jeremy Maclin after just one season with the team. The move creates $5 million in cap space for the Ravens.

Following the retirement of Steve Smith Sr. and the departure of Kamar Aiken, the Ravens signed Maclin to a two-year deal worth up to $11 million last summer. This occurred after the Kansas City Chiefs cut Maclin following a season hindered by a lingering groin injury. Maclin’s injury problems continued in Baltimore, as he dealt with ailments to his back, shoulder, and knee. Maclin’s 2017 season saw him finish with career-lows in receptions (40) and receiving yards (440) in 12 games.

The entire Maclin experiment in Baltimore can only be described as a disaster. Not only was he beat up all season, but he never got to establish a repertoire with Joe Flacco as the quarterback missed all of training camp with a herniated disk in his back. There was some thought that Maclin’s previous experience in a Marty Mornhinweg-led offense would bode well, but Maclin never clicked on or off the field for the Ravens.

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Since the 2017 season ended, rumors have been swirling about Maclin’s release. After the Ravens’ front office gave their receiving corps two veteran names who both held better stats than Maclin did last season, the Ravens now appear comfortable letting Maclin go. After two injury-riddled seasons and appearing to not mesh with the Ravens’ locker room, paying Maclin $5 million in 2018 made no sense.

The Ravens still have work to do at the wide receiver position. Brown is very injury-prone and a #2 receiver at-best, and Grant has never been anything more than a #3 wideout. Chris Moore is certainly not a elite wide receiver, and Breshad Perriman may not even make the 2018 roster. At 33, Jordy Nelson fits the mold of several veteran wideouts the Ravens have signed in the past, but his price tag will not be cheap. No matter if the Ravens sign another wide receiver or not, drafting at least two wideouts should still be a top priority.

Image Credit: ClutchPoints


Ryan Grant to sign four year deal with Ravens

Not long after news broke of the Ravens reaching a deal with former Cardinals receiver John Brown, another signing came through the free agency pipeline. Baltimore has also reached a deal with former Washington Redskins receiver, Ryan Grant.

Grant was drafted in the fifth round of the 2014 draft but has only started 15 games in his four-year career. It has been reported that the Ravens will be giving Grant a four-year deal worth $29 million. A contract of this size is a puzzling to say the least considering how little play time Grant has seen. To his credit, Grant has remained healthy so far in his career and is coming off his best season.

In 2017 the 27-year-old receiver accumulated 573 yards and four touchdowns on 45 receptions. All of these were career-highs as Grant started in seven of the Redskins’ 16 games.

After being heavily criticized by fans all week, it appears the Ravens’ front office has been quietly working on filling the teams needs. The quality of both of these signings will surely be debated, but we all know that both Brown and Grant are role players and not number one wide receivers. The success of both of these signings will depend heavily on who else they can ink this offseason to round out the receiving core.

Image credit: USA Today Sports