The new look Toronto Raptors are dangerous
Don't sleep on Toronto.
The Ravens desperately need a beneficiary at wide receiver. After discovering Ryan Grant's failed physical, they would not sign him to a four-year $29M deal. Baltimore is targeting former Oakland Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree who was released by Oakland after they signed former Green Bay Packers wide out Jordy Nelson. Crabtree is meeting with the Ravens on Friday.
The Ravens wanted Grant in their long-term future but that went out the window in a nutshell. Grant has four years under his belt while Crabtree has nine and much more success at the position. Crabtree, 30, played six seasons with the San Francisco 49ers and just concluded three years in Oakland. He's coming off a tough year with 58 receptions for 618 yards receiving but did haul in eight touchdowns. Grant had a career-best 45 catches for 573 receiving yards and four touchdowns.
The Ravens are attempting to bring team back to the playoffs which is something they haven't done since 2014. A household name like Crabtree who was 47th in receptions and tied for eighth with 11 other receivers with eight touchdowns last season, it could revitalize the Ravens' reputation at wide receiver. Baltimore had a combined 3,235 yards receiving which was 29th in the NFL and last in the AFC North.
Crabtree's season high for touchdowns is nine. He achieved that feat twice in 2015 and 2012. He caught at least 68 passes in five of his past seven seasons. He has recorded 25 touchdowns in past three years. He's played 125 games hauled in 579 catches for 6,870 yards receiving with 51 touchdowns.
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco could use a receiver like Crabtree since Flacco loves to launch the ball downfield but his accuracy is below-average completing 64 percent (352 of 549) of his passes last year. It could also be Flacco's final year in Baltimore after the 2018 season. However, Crabtree's former quarterback Derek Carr had a lower passing percentage at 62.4 percent last season.
If Crabtree signs with Baltimore, it may be bittersweet. The nine-year veteran out of Texas Tech played against the Ravens as a part of 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII. The Ravens won their second Super Bowl in franchise history at the time while controversy ensued involving Crabtree on a chance for the 49ers to take the lead late in the fourth quarter.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick threw a pass intended to Crabtree on fourth and goal that fell incomplete in the corner of the right end zone. Crabtree feels that a pass interference should have been called. He claimed that Ravens defensive back Jimmy Smith was holding on to him but no call was made as the Ravens won 34-31 in Super Bowl XLVII. He has dominated the Ravens in the three meetings to follow, catching five touchdown passes (the most against Baltimore over that span).
The only other player in the NFL who's had eight or more receiving touchdowns in the past three seasons is Crabtree and Pittsburgh Steelers' Antonio Brown.