I Have a Feeling: Ryan Grant Will Return to the Packers

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Ryan Grant Green Bay Packers Free Agent
Packers Free Agent Ryan Grant

Since this has unofficially become running backs week at AllGBP.com, I’ll chime in with some thoughts on the one guy who hasn’t been mentioned, Ryan Grant.

This is also the first in what I hope will become a series of “I have a feeling” posts, based on nothing more than what my gut tells me and intended to spur active discussion and debate. So, let’s get started.

Earlier in the week, Matthew Stein asked the question, “Which running back gives the Packers the best chance to win?” That was followed up on Thursday by Adam Czech, who gave us a look at some other players in the mix; the Packers UDFA running backs.

After reading and dissecting both posts, I came to this rather unlikely (for me) conclusion; Ryan Grant could be the guy that gives the Packers the best chance to win.

Those of you who remember some of my past posts on Ryan Grant, (like “Ryan Grant can’t cut it“), can all pick yourself up off of the floor now. But lets remember that several years have passed since that particular post. In the time that has elapsed, I came to accept what Ryan Grant provides (when healthy) to this pass-first Packers offense; dependability and accountability.

While I’ll always be yearning for a more dynamic running back, having a big-time running back like Adrian Peterson, let’s say, would be a waste on this team. It’s apparent to anyone paying attention that the running game is given just token consideration in this offense.

What the Packers mostly want from a #1 running back is to not fumble when given the ball and to be able to occasionally block when you’re still in the game on a passing play. Grant has had 6 fumbles in 924 career carries, Peterson 22 in 1400 carries. Grant fits for the Packers.

Mike McCarthy is very comfortable with Ryan Grant as his running back. So is Ted Thompson, but Thompson knows how to play this game. He did it last year with James Jones. He feigned disinterest and let Jones test free agency, all the time knowing there wouldn’t be much of a market for Jones, and that he would come back to the Packers on their terms.

The Grant situation feels too similar to be coincidence to me. I think the Packers are playing the same game and it seems to be playing out the same way. Just as Jones turned down an uninspiring offer from the Vikings last year, Grant recently cancelled a trip to Detroit, unhappy with their lowball offer.

So for now, Ryan Grants sits at home without a team. Back in March, the Packers expressed their interest in keeping Grant. Grant has many times professed his preference for staying with the Packers, and would be sure to give them a hometown discount, just as he agreed to a contract restructuring last year.

Grant, of course, is doing the smart thing by testing the free agent waters and the Packers have said, “go ahead and see what’s out there for you.” At age 29, this could be Grant’s last chance at a better-than-mediocre contract.

As Ted Thompson probably presumed, however, no one is seriously knocking on Grant’s door. Grant’s agent Alan Herman will surely approach the Packers soon (if he hasn’t already) to see if they are still interested in bringing Grant back.

Ted Thompson will surely listen. He knows first-hand how easy it is for running backs to get hurt, as Grant, James Starks and Alex Green have all missed significant time due to injuries the last two seasons.

Even if Grant proves to be no more than a reserve, he’s cheap insurance for the Packers, a concept Ted Thompson embraces (see the recent Dan Muir and Erik Walden signings).

So, that’s my “feeling.” My gut tells me (I’m assuming it’s not the sushi) that Ryan Grant will back be in training camp with the Packers this season. What happens from there, we’ll have to wait and see…



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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.


19 thoughts on “I Have a Feeling: Ryan Grant Will Return to the Packers

  1. I have been thinking this thought, too, Al. Grant will at least be in the Packers training camp this season, although, I’m not convinced (50/50) that he’ll be on the opening day roster.

  2. I would be very satisfied to have him back since we did not get a back in the draft. Veteran, leadership, knowledge of system, won’t break the bank.

  3. After watching Grant return to form towards the end of last year I would love to see him return to the Packers. My question is . . . do the Packers keep 4 running backs? If heatlhy I think Starks and especially Green have a lot to offer and Brandon Saine seems like a go to work everyday kind of guy that you can count on week in, week out to do the little things.

  4. If Grant does return, here’s to hoping he comes back angry and hungry. No matter what the bias to pass is, MM relies on productivity from the run to make his offense hum. I see him not only challenging Starks for touches, but probably surpassing him, due to nothing more than durability. Grant’s an older model year than a lot of these other guys, but with very low mileage.

    On his best play last year he just straight up ran away from the Lions’ defenders. Guy’s still got some gas in the tank.

  5. I think the Packers won’t make this decision until closer to training camp, or maybe even after an injury or two.

    Green is coming off a tough injury so the team needs to see what his recovery is really like, something that can be judged in ‘underwear,’ you don’t absolutely need pads to see if a knee works right. Plus, while they didn’t draft an RB, the two rookies they signed both have game-day talent. The plain fact is that RBs are no longer a priority position for so many teams in the league that outstanding talent at the spot consistently slides out of the draft, and the Packers scheme is one that can successfully plug in players without top end talent at RB with success (check out Denver in the late 90’s and other ZB teams since.) TT has made his bones finding undrafted rookies who can play; it shouldn’t be surprising that he can find a few at RB (Grant originally was one of those, although TT traded a pick for him).

    Grant doesn’t need the classroom work; if he has demonstrated anything over the past 5 years its that he knows the system. The team is better of giving these kids (including Saine and Green) a chance to show a little of what they bring before cutting a deal with Grant.

  6. Very observent Al. I remember saying that it would be unlikely for any team to consider Grant until after the draft. Now, I pretty much feel Grant will be with the Packers until his contract expires (and gets his release) or TT extneds his contract. No team will sign him before then. They don’t have to.

    The talk about his visit to NE and the Lions was agent speak. I’m leaning towards a contract extention is in the works. Forget the fumble in the playoff game and look at his play in 2011. Consistent all year and a good protector of the franchise (AR).

    1. Uh, Ron, Grant’s contract HAS expired, he IS a free agent! There will be no contract extension as there is no contract to extend! However, I would like to see Grant back as I feel he has something left and to serve as a mentor to the young guys.

      1. No offense but,how many mentors does this team need.
        Edgar Bennett became the WRs coach and I don’t think he wears duct tape across his mouth when it comes to the RBs.I would guess there is much interaction of the coaches,especially ex coach/player at the position.

  7. I hate ryan grant he always gets cuaght behind the line of scrimmage. The Pack should be fine with starks, saine, green and short yardage runner kuhn.

    1. He unfortunately was also probably the best running back on the team during the second half of the season. That says a lot more about Starks/Saine more than it probably does about Grant though.

  8. After watching replays of last years games I come to the conclusion if we can keep Grant at a lower price we need to. The team will be better with him, some of the big plays show he still has a lot left.

    1. The ideal scenario would be to sign Grant after week 7.

      He’s just a different player in the later part of the season.

  9. My impressions are that the Packers are willing to go on without Grant, but would also be willing to give him a shot at camp and see if he can fight for a roster spot.
    I am however a little confused by the actions of Grant and his agent; right before the draft his agent mentions that there are “several” teams interested and most of us assumed that was just agent talk. But now that the draft is over and Grant realistically has a chance to getting a contract, why does he not visit the Lions due to “economic reasons”? Even if the Lions were offering a veteran minimum with no guarantees, it still makes sense to visit the Lions just to prove a point that other teams were actually interested in Grant. Now Grant has lost all of his already small leverage because now it just looks like Grant’s agent was calling in a favor with someone with the Lions which fell through.

  10. INJURIES ….. the packers need 6 or 7 RB’s in camp because 3 or 4 will get hurt. Green Bay will sign him because he IS the best at picking up a blitz. Starks is still learning slowly and Green was just BAD at blitz pick-up.

  11. Not sure how long you can wait and see but the injuries that always happen make me think RG should still be a serious consideration. Despite any blunders and doesn’t everyone have them, I like ‘im so keep ‘im until he can’t perform to TT and MMs expectations,

  12. wish he would’ve gone to Detroit… we would have a much better chance of beating the Lions then… gauranteed fumbles from Grant in the clutch

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