If the Ravens reach an agreement with receiver Michael Crabtree, it would be a cause for major celebrations in Baltimore. It’s not like Crabtree is in the class of an Odell Beckham Jr. or Antonio Brown, but he is certainly better than Chris Moore or Breshad Perriman or any of the other current receivers on the roster.
And just think, the Ravens virtually had to stumble into this possible deal.
Crabtree became available once he was cut by the Oakland Raiders in favor of Jordy Nelson and the receiver the Ravens originally wanted, Ryan Grant, failed his physical. Who says lightning can’t strike twice in the same spot? Remember how the Ravens lucked into Alex Collins last season and he eventually became the team’s best running back and top offensive player?
Maybe that happens with Crabtree as well. He isn’t a legitimate No. 1 receiver but is proven, having started 122 of 125 games during his nine-year career. He also has 579 catches for 6,870 yards with 51 touchdowns during that time.
Last year, his numbers dropped off a little with only 58 receptions for 618 yards and eight touchdowns but that could have been the result of missed playing time from star quarterback Derek Carr.
Crabtree has had success in the red zone and that has been a missing ingredient in the Ravens offense. The Ravens reportedly were interested in Nelson but the Raiders grabbed him first. I think Crabtree is better. In Nelson, you saw a player who has appeared to have lost a step because of injuries.
I’m not sure if the Ravens will sign Crabtree but at least he gives them and their fan base some hope. They have missed out on other top receivers since free agency started this week but now have a chance to at least get better if Crabtree signs.
The Ravens need to remember that despite only being a game away from making the playoffs during the last two seasons, they have a lot of holes to fill. Last season they played perhaps the worst schedule in the NFL during the second half and still didn’t get into the postseason.
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Crabtree would make only a slight dent in the improvements needed, but would be a major plus right now.