Is Ryan Grant About to Leave the Packers?
There was a time not too long ago that running back Ryan Grant appeared to be the future at running back for the Green Bay Packers. Thanks to back-to-back 1,200-yard rushing seasons in 2008 and 2009, Grant looked ready to solidify himself as one of the better backs in the league.
Unfortunately, misfortune struck Grant as he suffered a season-ending ankle injury in Week 1 after just eight carries. While the Packers struggled mightily to find a consistent ground game in Grant’s absence during the 2010 season, the emergence of James Starks during the playoffs was the beginning of the end to Grant’s career in Green Bay.
While he played well last season in his final contract year for the Packers, it was practically guaranteed that Grant wouldn’t be coming back for the 2012 season.
Now, thanks to a report from Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press Gazette, it appears as if teams are stepping forward for Grant’s services, and none of those teams appear to be the Green Bay Packers.
What does this exactly mean for Green Bay?
Well, it’s not a secret that the Packers are a pass-first team. However, a good portion of their success on offense comes from the ability to move the ball on the ground. With Starks, Alex Green and Brandon Saine as the only running backs on the roster, Grant could initially be missed if he doesn’t return to Green Bay.
While Starks, Green and Saine are certainly talented, they lack the experience that Grant brings to the field. Don’t be surprised if the Packers’ offense struggles for a game or two without Grant on the roster, should that be the case.
Another aspect that Grant’s possible departure brings up is how the Packers will address the 2012 draft. If a deal is indeed done before April 26th, then Green Bay could very well look to use an early round pick on a running back to become their premier back.
It’s possible that if a prospect like Doug Martin of Boise State or Lamar Miller of Miami drops to the 28th pick of the draft, the Packers could pull the trigger to improve their offense. Of course, that would only happen if there isn’t a pass-rusher worth a first-round pick available to them.
Should Grant leave, I’m sure that the fans in Green Bay will have no hard feelings. That is, of course, unless he goes to the Minnesota Vikings like some other back-stabber.
If that happens, all bets are off.Follow @MatthewJStein