Ravens Release Michael Crabtree: Top Chef Baltimore, Recipes Without Crab


Michael Crabtree only lasted one season in Baltimore.

Despite him only playing a handful of games for the organization, he left an indelible impact not only on the Ravens but also the future of Lamar Jackson. In the season, Crabtree had a conglomerate of good moments and bad moments. Crabtree was liable to drop passes or a week-to-week basis, but he did turn both of his catches in the playoff game against the Chargers into touchdowns.

While Crabtree may not be a Ravens legend,  he could be the prototype for an ideal receiver with Lamar Jackson at quarterback. Crabtree‘s frame and ability to catch seemingly uncatchable passes would prove itself beneficial to a young quarterback like Lamar Jackson.


Jackson showed a tendency to target his tight ends, Crabtree, and slot receiver Willie Snead more than targets such as John Brown. With the absence of Crabtree on the 2019 Ravens, the team will probably look to add a big-bodied receiver in the draft or through free agency. Crabtree displayed the blueprint for potential success with Jackson as a quarterback. Despite a reduced number of targets without Flacco as the quarterback, Crabtree serves as an interesting case study in the future progression of Lamar Jackson.

For the rest of the NFL:


Crabtree has devolved into a sort of journeyman in his NFL career. After being drafted by the San Francisco 49ers, Crabtree suited up for Oakland and Baltimore, and will almost certainly suit up for a new team in the fall of 2019. While a potential landing spot for Crabtree could be in Carolina or another place desperate for a talented wide receiver, Crabtree’s absence in Baltimore must be filled with a comparable athlete as Crabtree.

Wherever Crabtree goes, he will have an immediate impact on the passing game, especially in the red zone. Especially in his days in Oakland, Crabtree was incredibly effective at hauling in back shoulder throws and fade routes. Famously, Crabtree caught a touchdown on an untimed down to beat the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday Night Football, displaying his capabilities as a clutch receiver. Even into the 2019 playoffs, Crabtree showed a flair for the dramatic, hauling in two touchdowns in the Ravens’ failed comeback.

What it means for the Purple and Gold:

At the most basic level, the Ravens now have a full-fledged need for a No. 1 wide receiver. The Ravens could fill the hole with the 22nd pick and the selection of D.K. Metcalf, A.J. Brown, N’Keal Harry, or any other highly regarded wide receiver prospect. They could acquire the services of a star wide receiver such as Antonio Brown or Odell Beckham, Jr. through trade. While Antonio Brown is highly unlikely to join the Ravens, the Ravens should look to pursue any ability to find the number one guy for Lamar Jackson to aid his development.


Regardless of the intense running style, watch the Ravens do better than replicate the 2018 season; having a No. 1 wide receiver would significantly benefit the offense in any period in which the Ravens trail.

However rare, when the Ravens trailed, the offense was relatively ineffective at reducing leads and getting back into the game. As in the Chiefs game, Jackson (and eventually Robert Griffin III) were unable to push the ball down the field when required in overtime. Also, in the playoff game against the Chargers, it took lax coverage from the Chargers for Jackson and the passing offense to actually begin to make progress down the field and create the semblance of a comeback. While the Ravens may not require a top-five receiver such as Brown or Beckham, the presence of a number one receiver in Baltimore helps the progression of Lamar Jackson and supports the offensive production.

The Future of the Ravens Passing Attack:

As a whole, Crabtree’s lasting legacy in Baltimore will be the blueprint he laid out for potential number-one wide receivers in the Lamar Jackson era. Without Crabtree in year one, Jackson could have been even more limited as a passer. While Crabtree did not produce his most staggering of statistical tallies with the Ravens, his leadership and guidance in the locker room should help the future progression of Jackson.


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