New Packers WR Ryan Grant: The ‘G’ Is Special
In 2007, former general manager Ted Thompson swung a trade for the Giants for a little-known running back by the name of Ryan Grant. That move turned out to be one of Thompson’s finest, with Grant rushing for more than 3,400 yards and 23 touchdowns during his first four seasons.
On Wednesday, general manager Brian Gutekunst signed free-agent receiver Ryan Grant.
“Since I’ve been drafted into this league, I’ve been mistaken for that guy,” Grant said. “Yeah, we share the same name. Some say we look alike. I guess it’s good to have his name around here.”
Whether adding this Grant will work out as well as the last Grant remains to be seen, but the Packers’ receiver corps was plagued by inconsistency early in the season and injuries now. Adding an experienced receiver can’t possibly hurt.
In his sixth season, Grant has 123 receptions for 1,333 yards and seven touchdowns. A fifth-round pick by Washington in 2014, Grant had career-high totals of 45 catches for 573 yards and four touchdowns for the Redskins in 2017. He caught 35 passes for the Colts in 2018 and had four catches for 14 yards for this week’s opponent, the Oakland Raiders, in two games this season. The Raiders released Grant six days after acquiring Trevor Davis in a trade with Green Bay.
“I’m excited for the future,” Grant said. “I think the Green Bay Packers have a great future ahead of them. Obviously they’ve been winning football games and I don’t see any change in that here pretty soon. I’m excited for the opportunity and look forward to everything that the organization has to offer.”
Grant’s 45-catch season for the Redskins seemingly came at the right time. That was his fourth season in the league, meaning he was a free agent in 2018. The Baltimore Ravens gave him a four-year, $29 million contract that included $14.5 million guaranteed. Grant, however, failed his physical – allegedly with an ankle injury. He settled on a one-year, $5 million deal with Indianapolis.
“It is what it is. Life goes on,” Grant said when asked what it was like to lose millions of dollars. “Thankful to be in the shoes that I’m walking in. the organization that I was going to sign the deal with, I don’t know what happened on their end but I was fully healthy. That’s that.”
Grant starred at Tulane. His receivers coach was Keith Williams; Williams was Davante Adams’ receivers coach at Fresno State. They have spent offseasons working out together with Williams and other receivers.
“We have some of the same fundamentals in our game and working out with an All-Pro receiver is always positive,” Grant said. “It’s just good being around the wide receivers here and just to be part of this offense is good.”
Grant’s time in Washington should help, since that Redskins’ offense was coordinated by Kyle Shanahan and Shanahan and Packers coach Matt LaFleur run similar schemes. Most of his production has come as an outside receiver, though he caught 16 passes in the slot in 2017 and 31 for his career, according to Pro Football Focus.
“I don’t know a lot about his skills. I haven’t seen a ton of film on him, but I do know he’s been productive over the years,” Rodgers said. “It does help that he’s been in a similar offense before. I know he works out with ‘Te during the offseason, and ‘Te had a lot of nice things to say about his abilities. So, get him up to speed, and see if we can get him ready to play.”
Before signing, Grant had workouts with New England, Minnesota and Green Bay. Grant wound up where he wanted to play.
“I wanted to come here out of all the places I worked out at,” said the native of Beaumont, Texas. “Small town, I could really just focus on football. And this is a great organization, has history, a lot of great players have played here, and just the ‘G’ on the helmet seems special.”