Sign Ryan Grant

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We’ve avoided posting much on the Ryan Grant contract situation because there were so few details availableit was hard to know who was at fault for the impasse. And throughout the nearly six months of inaction on his contract, I’ve assumed that the two parties would come to some agreement as training camp approached.

That hasn’t happened and although one party is speaking, we’re beginning to learn why: The Packers are being cheap.

Several days ago, Grant’s agent, Alan Herman, spoke publicly about the details of the negotiations for the first time. He said that Grant had offered to sign a heavily-incentivized deal — a contract that would reward him for future production more than past performance. The Packers balked. Their thinking, apparently, reflects doubts I’ve heard from other Packer fans that Grant’s productivity “only” came during half an NFL season.

That’s a bullshit excuse for being cheap. Over ten games, Ryan Grant was the NFL’s second most productive running to perennial league-leader, LaDanian Tomlinson. Grant started seven games, played significantly in ten. Over that period, he rushed for nearly 1000 yards and eight touchdowns. His per-carry average was 5.1 yards. If he had played for the entire season and produced at a level even close to that one, he would have been a Pro-Bowl running back. That would have been great, of course, but it’s not necessary when evaluating what kind of back Grant is and how much he should be compensated. Grant’s ten games is roughly equivalent to a full season of college football and teams routinely fork out tons of cash to college players who have performed will for only their senior year. Pittsburgh signed Rashard Mendenhall to a five-year $12.55 million deal. Overall the contract doesn’t break the bank but Mendenhall, whose only solid season was his junior year at Illinois (prompting him to go pro), got more than half of that, $7.125 as guaranteed money.

According to Herman, the Packers have offered Grant $1.75 million in guaranteed money, an amount Herman called “insulting.” I agree. So Grant is not at training camp. And worse, as Herman points out, is that the Packers don’t even seem to think that his client is as valuable to the team as linebacker Brady Poppinga, who might not even start this year and has spent much of the last two years chasing tight ends from behind after being burned in coverage. Poppinga’s contract extension gave him $3 million guaranteed.

Is Herman telling the truth? Probably. He’s got to deal with other NFL teams and he was out in public saying different things than he was saying in private his reputation would take quite a hit. He says that he doesn’t normally talk about the details of negotiations but that Grant is being treated so poorly, he felt the need to do so this time. If what he’s saying is true — and the Packers are really being this stupid — I don’t blame him.

Sign Ryan Grant.

UPDATE: More here on why Herman is furious. I don’t blame him.

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11 Responses to “Sign Ryan Grant”

  1. Ron La Canne Says:

    This season maybe the most chaotic I have experienced since the first game I attended in 1949. I find myself on Thompson’s side in his dealings with the futre “Pathological Liars Hall of Fame” charter member, Bret Favre. Now I’m back to my mistrust of Thompson in his dealings with a guy who really made a difference last year.

    His two-bit “Ponzi Scheme” negotiator, Russ Ball, has his head planted firmly in an orifice that no sun can penetrate. Mr. Tough Negotiator is trying to audition for next season’s Trump show. Giving Poppinga $3 million upfront vs. Grant’s offer of $1.75 million is just plain stupid. Who made a bigger contribution to the team last year? Who are Grant’s backups?

    And, to add further fuel to the fire in my heart, Jolly (suspension inevitable), Harrel (injury prone since high school) and letting Montgomery go.

    I’ll be waiting to hear from Thompson and Mc Carthy at 10:45am CDT. I think its’ available on the Packer Web Site.

  2. Aaron Says:

    Montgomery was cut? Huh? I see nothing on the transaction wire… ?

    http://www.nfl.com/transactions

  3. Eric Mortensen Says:

    I agree that Thompson or Ball (whoever is in charge of getting the contract signed) is being cheap. I think the contract will get signed sooner than most think though. I believe this was just an opening offer and the Packers are waiting for Grant’s counteroffer. I personally think it will end up with Grant getting around 3-4 million with the opportunity to renegotiate it in the future. The Packers probably don’t want to give Grant a ton of money yet since who know if last year was a fluke. I seriously doubt it but it could have been. Remember Samkon Gado. He had a great year and then he was cut the next season. While I don’t think this will be the case with Grant I think this is the reason why Thompson is being cautious about giving Grant a bunch of money. I expect the deal will get done in a week or two. Despite missing some of training camp it will still be better than last season where he wasn’t even here for training camp.

    As far as Montgomery goes I haven’t heard anything about him being cut either. It really wouldn’t make any sense since we are already thin in the defensive line so why would we cut him now?

  4. PackerBelle Says:

    I have two words: Samkon Gado. He looked really good coming in late in the season and saving the Packer’s running game and then stunk the rest of his brief career. We have no idea if Ryan Grant will be a one season wonder and he can’t play anywhere besides Green Bay so why should the Packers pay him a crapload of money? Let him sign a one year tender show us what he can do and then we can talk the $5 million signing bonus his agent wants. Until then I think Grant needs to get over himself and play.

  5. Ron La Canne Says:

    Opps! The brian cells are not functioning — Should have been Corey Williams.

  6. Ron La Canne Says:

    Err folks, and Brady Poppinga can’t be replaced? If your Gado analogy holds water, I guess it’s only running backs you think should be tossed away. Grant’s numbers, as Steve points out, were second only to Tommilison in games where he played a significant role. Gado was never consistent, he had some good games. Overall his game by game performance was not at Grant’s level.

  7. PackerBelle Says:

    Brady Poppinga has shown himself to be fairly consistent and a team player. Grant has not.

    As for Samkon Gado, while his play may not have been as good as Grant’s that doesn’t mean the analogy is flawed. He is a guy who came in as a back up and due to injuries became the starter and excelled. And he wasn’t that consistent. He followed up the Denver game with a 2.9 average in KC, a 3.1 average at St. Louis and a horrid game against the Giants. And lets not forget the two fumbles against Seattle. He could be a great RB but he could also be a one year wonder. And until he proves himself I don’t think he should be asking for a huge contract.

  8. Ron La Canne Says:

    So I guess you’re happy with Jackson as the starter? I’m not.

  9. awhayes Says:

    PackerBelle – not with you on this one. Grant showed talent last year, far more talent than Gado. And, when Gado came back his next year, he was way overweight and not good. And, importantly, Gado was racking up yards when the outcome of the game was largely determined from the opening kickoff because the team sucked that year. Defenses didn’t mind giving up a few yards here and there. While I initially worried Grant wasn’t being reasonable here, the newer info we have indicates it is the Packers being cheap.

    And, just while I’ll give you that signing Grant long-term involves some risk (as it does with any player), I would say it’s far less risky to sign him to an incentive-based contract now than to risk losing a player who could be very very good in the NFL to free agency next year.

    You are right about Poppinga – he is consistent, just not consistently good.

  10. PackerBelle Says:

    Jackson is better as a receiver than Grant which can open up more opportunities in the offense. And he was looking much better at the end of the season. Granted Detroit stinks but he managed to average 5.6 yards against them and he averaged 4.3 yards against the Seahawks.

  11. Ron La Canne Says:

    Report from camp on Jackson day one – “He doesn’t look like he’s learned a lot in the off-season.” Many mistakes!

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