Former Green Bay Packers running back Ryan Grant is showing off his elusiveness this offseason. And while he’s never been known as anything but a runner who seeks out contact, you wouldn’t have guessed it from his and his agent’s shiftiness concerning the Lions.
Last Thursday, Grant’s agent, Alan Herman, told the Detroit Free Press via text message that Grant would be visiting Detroit and that the two were in striking distance of hammering out a contract. By not drafting a running back, the Lions are seeking a free agent as an insurance policy for Jahvid Best, who should be returning to contact after recovering from multiple concussions last season, and Mikel Leshoure, who has been arrested twice since last season for marijuana possession.
But Monday came and went and there were no signs of Grant at the Lions headquarters in Allen Park. According to Chris McCosky of the Detroit News:
If running back Ryan Grant visited the Lions training facility Monday, he was in disguise or he came after nightfall.
Although his agent told The Detroit News last week that the Lions had made Grant an offer and he would visit the facility Monday, apparently that didn’t happen. If Grant met with Lions’ officials, it was either Sunday night or it was away from Allen Park.
Anwar S. Richardson of MLive.com corroborated the report by saying:
It is unclear if Grant met Detroit’s coaching staff on Sunday instead of Monday or if the trip was canceled.
McCosky and Richardson are both also saying that Herman has been unreachable by phone, furthering the mystery of what exactly is going on here. Grant has made it no secret that he’d like to return to Green Bay in 2012. He told ESPN 540 in Milwaukee that ”I think everyone knows that’s my ideal situation.”
I think someone smart once said that actions speak louder than words. I don’t expect the Lions to make any public statements about any free agents. And when agents talk, usually you can only believe about half of what they say (give or take, mostly give 30%). But that usually pertains to specific contract figures. We don’t know if the Lions are close to a deal with Grant like Herman said. We don’t know if Herman said that hoping that Green Bay would pony up an offer.
The 29-year old back doesn’t seem to be garnering much interest on the open market. He met with the Patriots, but they have since signed ex-Colts RB Joe Addai. Grant is a decent running back, but nothing special. He’ll average a tick over four yards a carry and be viable catching passes out of the backfield. But, if I’m Martin Mayhew and Grant indeed was a no-show without explanation, my interest would be gone.
While Grant’s ideal situation would be to play his home games on the frozen tundra, the Lions’ ideal situation should be to sign the best available running back who wants to play in Detroit.