The Green Bay Packers have re-signed their most high-priority free agent in Jermichael Finley, this offseason. They’ve decided to let backup quarterback Matt Flynn walk without compensation. They’ll probably lose Pro Bowl center Scott Wells and they’ve done nothing to re-sign one of their top defensive backups and best special teams players, Jarrett Bush.
With all that going on, or not going on as it were, pretty much everyone has forgotten that running back Ryan Grant is about to be a free agent. That’s probably because no one really expects the Packers to re-sign him and frankly, he wouldn’t be that big of a loss if he left.
Grant came on late in the season, but only rushed for 559 yards and two touchdowns in 2011. He’ll turn 30 in December, which is the age running backs’ production seems to drop off a cliff.
Still, the Packers have said they want him back, but they’re going to let the free agent market determine his value.
“He will hit free agency,” his agent, Alan Herman, said. “But they gave us an indication they would like to have him back. I have to sit down with Ryan in the next few days and see what he wants to do. I haven’t talked to him about it yet. I’m sure he’s open to that (returning). On the other hand, being a free agent is enticing.”
It looks like the Packers will consider bringing Grant back at the right price, which is presumably a low price. The team has James Starks, Alex Green and Brandon Saine already on the roster. There are problems with each of those players though, so someone else will have to be added to the mix.
Starks his injury-prone, Green is coming off a torn ACL and won’t be at full strength for some time, and Saine, who was on the practice squad for most of 2011, still has a lot to learn.
That still doesn’t make Grant a slam dunk to return, although we’d bet he’ll be back at a reasonable rate. We can’t see the market for a soon-to-be 30-year-old running back who rushed for just over 500 yards last season being a hot one.
If we’re wrong, the Packers can certainly find a decent replacement in the draft.