Ryan Grant is a Raven: Q&A with Riggo’s Rag

The Baltimore Ravens have agreed to terms with Ryan Grant, a wide receiver from the Washington Redskins.

The Ravens are bringing in Ryan Grant to be part of their offense. Grant is expected to sign a four year deal worth $29 million according to reports. This is an under the radar type of signing. I think it’s important to remember that Grant isn’t the solution to the Ravens desperate need at wide receiver, he is just part of it. The Ravens also signed John Brown and the Ravens aren’t done making moves.

The Ravens may have a tough history when it comes to drafting wide receivers, but their free agent signings have tended to work out. What makes this concerning is that Grant has never had a breakout season or a monster performance. When the Ravens signed guys like Derrick Mason and Steve Smith Sr., they were big names who had already proven a lot in the NFL. Grant is coming of a career year with just 45 receptions, 573 yards and four touchdowns. While the Ravens have had success pecking talent from other teams at wide receiver, this is one of the biggest risks they have made to date in the free agent market.

The Baltimore Ravens spent a good bit of money on Grant. With that in mind, it’s a good time to start asking some questions about the newest member of the purple and black. That’s why I asked Jacob Camenker from FanSided’s Riggo’s Rag to answer some questions about Grant. My questions are in bold. Mr. Camenker’s insightful answers are below each question.

1. A lot of Ravens fans are Googling Ryan Grant right now. Can you give us an overview of what kind of player Baltimore is getting?

The Ravens are getting player who will work hard every day of the week and will do everything he can to be a quality player. Redskins running back Chris Thompson spoke highly of Grant following the announcement of this contract, and coach Jay Gruden always seemed to trust Grant and never had a bad thing to say about him.

In terms of on-field performance, Grant was, for the most part, a solid all-around player. As the season unfolded, he worked his way into the starting lineup and served as the de facto No. 3 receiver behind slot man Jamison Crowder and former first rounder Josh Doctson. Grant was extremely consistent, and he developed a solid rapport with Kirk Cousins. For that reasons, many Redskins fans were hoping that Grant would stick around as a potential primary backup with starting potential.

2. What is Grant’s best quality as a wide receiver?

There are two that come to mind immediately. Grant never seems to have trouble catching the ball. He has excellent hands and rarely will ever drop a pass. Essentially, if Joe Flacco can get the ball to Grant in a good position, Grant will come down with the catch. That seems to be something that could benefit the Ravens.

Additionally, Grant is a very good route runner. He’s greatly improved in that area since coming into the league and that’s how he has been able to get separation during his time with the Redskins. He doesn’t have great speed or above average size. Grant gets the job done by running crisp, clean routes and catching what is thrown to him. He should gain trust from Flacco early on because of these qualities.

3. Grant had a handful of solid games last season. Is this a player who has kind of had the light come on?

I wouldn’t necessarily say Grant had a light come on. It was more so that he was finally given an opportunity to produce. When the team had Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson, and Jordan Reed all on the field together in addition to Jamison Crowder, Grant simply never got an opportunity. He was the No. 4 receiver and was low in the pecking order for targets, which explains why he didn’t produce much until this season.

In 2017, Grant was given the opportunity and he did what he does well. He caught passes and used his route running abilities to get open. Grant didn’t have many explosive plays. He just ended up in the right place at the right time and was able to find space. In some ways, the light has come on for him as a route runner, but the potential for that always existed when the Redskins drafted him.

4. It seems like the Ravens are paying for potential more than past production. Do you think the Ravens overpaid Grant?

I do think that the Ravens overpaid Grant. I had pegged his average annual value to be somewhere in the $5 million range at the very most. Giving him $7.25 million per year over the course of four years is a lot of money for a player whose only elite trait are his hands.

Grant isn’t going to make a lot of game-changing plays for an offense. He’s more of a steady, No. 2 receiver with the potential to play outside and in the slot. For that reason, the $29 million over four years is a bit rich for my tastes. I much prefer the one year, $5 million deal that the Ravens dished out to John Brown, as he has more upside than Grant.

That said, it doesn’t mean that Grant won’t live up to the contract. He could end up being this year’s Robert Woods, a receiver without much production previously who succeeded in a new scheme. Grant is a very hard worker, so he will do everything he can to live up to his new deal. But he’s also two years removed from catching nine passes. And even though that may have been due to the other personnel on the roster, it’s still a major red flag when considering giving a player a lucrative contract.

Closing Thoughts:

I like the move to bring in Grant. Like Jacob brought up, the contract is a little rich, however I think that is just the cost of doing business. If you look at the contracts that have been agreed to today, this is a rather mild one. I like that the Ravens are taking a risk though, because it means that they’re doing something. I would like to thank Jacob Camenker for helping the us out today. Check out Riggo’s Rag for everything you need to know about the Washington Redskins.