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Ravens Earn an ‘B+’ for Their Draft According to ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.

The draft grades from ‘Draft Guru’ Mel Kiper Jr. are out, and one team that got a very good grade is that of the Ravens, who according to Kiper got an ‘B+’ for their collection of players over the two days.

Here’s what he had to say:

There’s no question the Ravens have disappointed lately. They haven’t made the playoffs the last three seasons. The offense and Joe Flacco have taken a step back. So GM Ozzie Newsome, in his last draft in charge, is shaking things up, putting the 33-year-old Flacco on notice. Baltimore traded up into the last pick of the first round — at a big price, surrendering next year’s second-round pick, plus pick Nos. 52 and 125 — to get Lamar Jackson. The 2016 Heisman Trophy winner is the most raw of the top quarterbacks in this class, but he’s an electric talent. And with Flacco there and under contract for the short-term, Jackson doesn’t need to play right away. He can learn the game and keep developing until he’s ready. It’s a good spot for Jackson.

Elsewhere, the Ravens became the only team since the 2012 Colts to take two tight ends in the first three rounds, grabbing Hayden Hurst (pick 25 after trades down from 16 and 22) and Mark Andrews (86). Ben Watson accounted for 64 percent of the Ravens’ tight end yardage last season, but he’s gone. Hurst is a complete player who can line up next to the tackle or in the slot, while Andrews is essentially a 6-5 slot receiver. He had a great college career, and he’s going to be a tough cover for linebackers and safeties. We know Flacco loves throwing to tight ends, but sometimes he can rely on them too much. I liked the value getting tackle Orlando Brown at 83, and it’s cool to see him drafted by the team that his father “Zeus” played for. Brown’s tape shows a first-round player, but he fell because of a disastrous combine. He could start at right tackle in 2018.

And of course, Ozzie took two more Alabama players in his final draft. Cornerback Anthony Averett (118) has a thin frame, but he ran a 4.36 at the combine. Center Bradley Bozeman (215) anchored the Crimson Tide offensive line for 31 starts. Jordan Lasley (162) has some off-field issues, but he was Josh Rosen’s favorite target and took over games at times. He’s worth the risk there. Safety DeShon Elliott (190) had six interceptions (two pick-sixes) last season.

The big takeaway here is putting a clock on Flacco’s time in Baltimore. Jackson isn’t ready to contribute right now, but he could be in 2019.

Round/Pick Name Pos College
1/25 Hayden Hurst TE SOUTH CAROLINA
1/32 Lamar Jackson QB LOUISVILLE
3/83 Orlando Brown OT OKLAHOMA
3/86 Mark Andrews TE OKLAHOMA
4/118 Anthony Averett CB ALABAMA
4/122 Kenny Young ILB UCLA
4/132 Jaleel Scott WR NEW MEXICO STATE
5/162 Jordan Lasley WR UCLA
6/190 DeShon Elliott S TEXAS
6/212 Greg Senat OT WAGNER
6/215 Bradley Bozeman C ALABAMA
7/238 Zach Sieler DE FERRIS STATE

Report: Ravens Made a Multiyear Offer to WR Dez Bryant – He Said ‘No Thanks’

NFL Network is reporting that the Ravens wanted to make a big splash, and tried to acquire wide out Dez Bryant, making him a multiyear deal which he said ‘no’ to.

When Bryant turned down the Ravens offer, the team instead went out and got wide out Willie Snead, inking him away from the Saints with a two-year deal.

Baltimore has indeed shown the most interest in signing Bryant, but the two sides couldn’t agree on contract length, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday, via a source informed of the situation.

The Ravens needed a multiyear deal to fit Bryant’s number under the salary cap, per Rapoport. The former Cowboys star, conversely, is seeking a one-year contract that will enable him to test the market again in 2019.

In other words, Bryant is banking on a bounce-back year to rehabilitate his league-wide value.

That’s a high-risk approach for a player attempting to reverse the decline phase of his career. The Ravens’ offer was “pretty lucrative,” Rapoport added on NFL Up to the Minute, in the neighborhood of the three-year, $21 million deal signed by Michael Crabtree.

QB Colin Kaepernick Reportedly Present for Depositions for Harbaugh and Newsome

Colin Kaepernick was present for Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome and coach John Harbaugh’s depositions Thursday as part of the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback’s collusion grievance against the NFL, Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun reports.

The interviews were set to take place at the Under Armour Performance Center, according to a Pro Football Talk report Wednesday.

A Ravens spokesman declined to comment Wednesday, saying, “Legal proceedings of this nature are confidential and cannot be commented on publicly.”

Earlier Wednesday, the team announced it had agreed to a one-year deal with former Washington Redskins and Cleveland Browns quarterback Robert Griffin III. With starter Joe Flacco dealing with a back injury last training camp, the Ravens spoke to both Kaepernick and Griffin about potentially signing with the team.

Despite their public flirtation with Kaepernick, the Ravens decided not to sign him. Team officials acknowledged that they heard from fans both for and against the potential signing.

Kaepernick became one of the most polarizing athletes in the country after he knelt during the national anthem before games in 2016 to protest treatment of African-Americans and other minorities.

Kaepernick hasn’t gotten another NFL job after he opted out of his 49ers contract before the 2017 season.

He filed a grievance in October, alleging that the NFL is colluding to keep him out of the game.

Baltimore Gridiron Report 2018 NFL Draft Scouting Report: USC QB Sam Darnold

The hype for USC quarterback Sam Darnold has b3en growing by leaps and bounds the last few weeks, to the point where many feel he’s going to be the first overall pick in the NFL Draft in April.

At 6-4, 220 pounds, he’s got the look of a player who with some time learning could be a very good to excellent quarterback in the NFL, but time will tell when he might get that chance.

In his final season at USC, Darnold threw for 4143 yards, with 26 touchdowns to go along with 13 picks. This after throwing 31 touchdowns and nine interceptions the season before.

Here’s a look at Darnold and what various places are saying about him in our latest scouting report.

Walter Football

Naturally accurate passer
Fits passes into tight windows
Excellnt ball placement
Throws a catchable ball
Pocket presence
Has poise
Advanced anticipation; instinctive thrower
Throws with good timing
Can accelerate his throwing motion
Quality arm strength
Pushed team to wins
Good internal clock
Throws very well on the run
Throws accurately off platform
Displays some feel in the pocket
Not easy to sack
Can hurt defenses on the ground
Can make all the throws required
Can pick up yards on the ground
Threads passes into tight windows

Ball security
Too many interceptions
Too many fumbles
Had some confidence issues in 2017
Doesn’t secure the ball well when getting sacked
Good enough not doesn’t have elite arm strength
Throwing mechanics are a bit unorthodox
Needs to start games faster

Summary: Darnold took college football by storm during the 2016 season, and even though he wasn’t eligible for the 2017 NFL Draft, the redshirt freshman had scouts buzzing about his pro potential. After a 1-2 start to the 2016 season for USC, Darnold was made the starting quarterback. For his debut season, he was an extremely efficient passer who led the Trojans to a 10-3 record. Darnold lost his first-ever start against a good Utah team, but after that he led his team to ripping off a nine-game win streak to close out the year, including impressive wins over Colorado, Washington, and a comeback Rose Bowl win over Penn State. Darnold completed 67 percent of his passes in 2016 for 3,086 yards with 31 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

The 2017 season was more of a mixed bag for Darnold. The redshirt sophomore completed 63 percent of his passes for 4,143 yards with 26 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He had an up-and-down season with too many turnovers – fumbles were a particular issue beyond the interceptions. Darnold also made some beautiful anticipatory throws with excellent accuracy in just about every game.

There is a lot to like about Darnold as a future starter in the NFL. First and foremost, he is an accurate pocket passer who throws with good ball placement and is very precise in the short to intermediate part of the field. Darnold has excellent anticipation to know when and where receivers are going open. With his feel and timing, Darnold hits receivers on the run, leading them to picking up yards after the catch. He also regularly will throw receivers open and help them to find space to beat tight coverage. Darnold is a natural rhythm thrower who would fit best in a West Coast system to maximize his ability to throw accurately in the short to intermediate part of the field. He is a smooth precision passer who can be deadly when he gets into a good groove.

Darnold is comfortable in the pocket, but also has the ability to move around to buy time. While he is not a running quarterback, he is functional to avoid sacks and will move around to help his offensive line and receivers. Darnold made a number of really nice plays during the past two years when things went off script as he got creative to move the ball for his offense. Routinely, Darnold would buy time with his feet and then make an accurate throw downfield with the rush closing in on him.

The Drafster

In my eyes, Sam Darnold is a very odd prospect. Talked about as a number 1 overall draft pick. Talked about as the best Quarterback coming out of college this year. However, I am not seeing any of this. When I watch Darnold, I see one of the most streaky Quarterback play I think I have seen in awhile. At time looks very hesitant to throw, missing an opportunity. Other times he looks too eager and makes a bad decision. He has his good moments, but then a play later he will have a combination of bad plays. Moving in the pocket too early and too often, inconsistent accuracy, and staring down a play for too long are major turn offs to me.

The first thing I notice about Darnold when watching him is that he seems to ignore his dump off routes. He seems so locked in on making a big play, he forgets about the guys that are 5 yards away from him. I can respect wanting to make a big play for the team, but after staring downfield for eternity it’s time to hit your shallow routes. At least LOOK at them to see if they are open. There is no shame in taking an easy three to five yards. Not every throw has to get the crowd on their feet.

The second thing I notice is how much he likes to move around in the pocket. And that is just not his style. I get running to avoid a sack, but too many times I saw him run with a clean pocket. Multiple times he would take off to the outskirts of the pocket, making it easier for defenders to get off their block. He seems to just panic unless he has the cleanest pocket one could possibly have. If he would stand tall in the pocket and deliver, his accuracy issues would go down as well. His deep balls are inconsistent, and the times he does go to dump it off, those are not always pretty either. His best throws come from his 10-15 yarders. Which always happen to be when he stands his ground.

I will say though, 4th quarter Sam Darnold seems to be a better player than in other quarters. He reads the field better, has better ball placement, and doesn’t try to run around as much. It just seems something clicks a bit better for him during the 4th. Like he has calmed down. He just needs to be able to play similar to that all game if he is gonna be the number 1 overall pick this upcoming draft.

I think Darnold has a lot to work on. Personally there are 4 other Quarterbacks I would take before drafting him. He does good things, unfortunately, his good things just are not consistent enough and are overshadowed by his flaws. I believe if he can work on sitting in the pocket longer instead of trying to escape right away (while not holding the ball for too long), a lot of his issues will start fading. I think Darnold will have a real rough start to his career, but if keeps his confidence and keeps fixing his game, it will work out for him in the long run.

Cover 1 Scouting Report


Darnold’s entire game is predicated upon his ability to create. Darnold is an athletic player; he is able to pull the ball down and gain chunks of yardage with his legs. His agility and change of direction catch many defenders off guard.

That is why offensive coordinator Tee Martin built an offense that maximized his legs. USC ran a heavy dose of run pass options (RPOs), a concept that gave Darnold many options pre- and post-snap, and he absolutely flourished. On a majority of their plays, Darnold had the ability to give the ball to star running back Ronald Jones, keep it as a runner, or throw it to one of his many weapons outside. This multi-dimensional structure of a play was obviously super productive. His decision making was very good all season, especially on these RPOs. He can process the coverage, find the conflict defender, and distribute the ball quickly.

But what is often overlooked is the accuracy and velocity needed on these kinds of concepts. At times, after the mesh with the running back or play fake, the passing lane is cluttered with defenders coming downhill to defend what they perceive to be a run. Once they realize that it is a pass, they immediately try to get their hands up in the passing lanes. Darnold makes these throws look easy. Standing at 6’4? and 220 pounds, he is able to place the ball in optimal locations, allowing his weapons to make plays.

At the next level, Darnold is going to make his money in the short area. While his elongated release and sloppy footwork will cause issues at times, something I will cover later, it isn’t an issue from 0-9 yards. That bodes well for Sam, because that is where football is won and lost on Sundays. His mechanics aren’t an issue because he is throwing in rhythm and not having to worry about mechanics.

According to SportsInfo Solutions (SIS), Darnold’s short game is phenomenal. From 0-9 yards, he had the highest completion percentage (75.4%), the 4th-most passing yards (1,534), 12th-most touchdowns (10), the 3rd-highest yards per attempt (7.6), and the 5th-highest rating (107.2).


As productive as Darnold was over his 27 games at USC, he has some serious flaws that need to be addressed, the first of which is turnovers. Darnold threw 22 interceptions over two years and added another 20 fumbles. This lack of ball security will get you benched quickly.

While the offense surrendered an average of 2.14 sacks a game and a grand total of 30 sacks in 2017, he admitted that he was pushing it too much.

Many of his turnovers are linked to his mechanics. Darnold has some of the worst mechanics I have ever seen from a quarterback. Let’s start with his delivery. Typically, a quarterback with an elongated delivery like Darnold’s will struggle at the next level. From the time he begins his delivery to the time of release is often the difference between a tight window completion and an interception. Defensive backs are just too good on Sundays. If he is slightly late anticipating a throw and needs to drive a pass, the split second longer that it takes to release the ball due to his delivery could lead to an interception, much like it did versus Washington State. The safety bails post-snap, baiting Darnold to throw the speed out as he gets the 1-on-1 coverage. The defensive back reads the route, breaks, and picks him off.

What Matt Miller says about Darnold – Ranking him as the #1 QB on the board

1. Sam Darnold, USC

A two-year starter at USC, Sam Darnold is widely praised for his toughness, football IQ and leadership. A coach with the Trojans told me Darnold only cares about football and not the benefits of being a star quarterback. He did turn the ball over 22 times in 2017, which should at a minimum send scouts back to the tape to find the context of each turnover. But Darnold’s tangible and intangible traits are tops in the class.

Scout’s Quote: “Crystal clean off the field. Smart, poised, tough, accurate. He might be the only one that could work in Cleveland because he won’t let the pressure go to his head.”

Coach’s Quote: “The release and turnovers bother me, but he has the makeup to be good. He’s better than [Mitch] Trubisky was last year but he’s not on the level of [Carson] Wentz or Jared [Goff].”

Scout’s Comparison: Tony Romo, retired

Darnold impressed at his Pro Day, throwing in the rain back on March 21st

What Can The Ravens Do To Get Back Into The Playoffs?

These are worrying times for Ravens fans. After John Harbaugh guided the team to the postseason six times in his first seven years, they’ve now gone three consecutive campaigns without reaching the playoffs. For a franchise that has been as successful as the Ravens have, that’s a disappointing run, and fans will be hoping for better next season.

Despite their 2017 struggles, it is worth pointing out that they won five of their last seven regular season games and finished with a winning record. Though they are second favourites behind the Steelers to win the AFC North with most online sportsbooks, Ravens fans who bet with Stakers will be hoping that the disappointment of last season will lead to their side starting a few games at tempting odds this fall.

However, before then, there are some issues for the Ravens management to address, and the starting point has to be to analyze what went wrong last time.

The main problem was on offense. The Ravens’ passing game was poor last time, averaging 189.4 yards per game. That was largely down to the inconsistent and under-performing receiver group. They also struggled in third and long scenarios. Without a tricky back who can consistently pick up those seven or eight-yard gains, they were easy to counter, and their 4.6 yards per play on third downs was the worst in the NFL.

There were also defensive issues. Sure, C.J. Mosley had a second Pro Bowl season, but while the team were strong when it came to stopping wide receivers, the same can’t be said for tight ends. Both Mosley and Patrick Onwuasor were poor against passes thrown to the tight ends, and as the tight-end position continues to evolve into more of a receiving position, that weakness is going to cause problems going forward.

How can the Ravens improve this time around? Some of the offensive work has already been done. GM Ozzie Newsome has been busy overhauling the receiving core. Mike Wallace and Jeremy Maclin are out, and we won’t be seeing Michael Campanaro or Ben Watson return, while John Brown and Michael Crabtree have been added to the roster. Meanwhile, new defensive coordinator Don Martindale will be working on fixing the tight-end problem.

While some of the issues can be fixed in training and through free agency, the Ravens also need to add strength in the draft. At least one high-potential wide receiver and a fast, strong outside linebacker will be top of the list, but Newsome will also be looking for a talented back who can correct their third-down problem. Ravens fans shouldn’t be surprised to see them also looking at quarterbacks, given that Joe Flacco isn’t getting any younger.

The core of the Ravens’ roster is strong, particularly on defense, and if they can fix the tight-end receiving issue and refresh the offense, there is every chance that Baltimore will end their run and get into the playoffs next season.

Baltimore Gridiron Report 2018 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Ohio State CB Denzel Ward

Cornerbacks are always in high demand come draft night, and this year the 2018 draft will be no exception. One player that likely won’t last long is that of Ohio State Buckeyes CB Denzel Ward, a player who is quickly climbing the charts.

Ward is coming off a tremendous combine, and is known by many as the top CB in this year’s draft class. Here’s our official look at Ward and what he’ll bring to the table to the lucky team that grabs him this year in round one.

Here’s a Scouting Report from


OSU cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs told reporters last spring that Ward was a “gifted player” and truly a “third starter” at cornerback, joining 2017 first-round picks Marshon Lattimore and Gareon Conley. Ward proved his coach correct, earning first-team All-American and all-conference accolades in 2017 with 37 tackles, two for loss, two interceptions, and 15 pass breakups (ranked in the top 10 in the nation). He earned honorable mention All-Big Ten notice from league media as a non-starter in 2016, playing 30 snaps a game on defense. Ward tied Lattimore for the team lead with nine pass breakups on the year (23 tackles), never giving up on a play and being quite physical despite his average size for the position. Ward got onto the field as a true freshman, making seven tackles, primarily on special teams. Ward was a first-team All-Ohio pick and Division II Co-Defensive Player of the Year as a high school senior (nine interceptions, 18 pass breakups). He also qualified for the state track meet as a long jumper and part of the 4×400 relay.


Strengths Supreme athletic ability. Expected to be impressive Combine tester. Can park in a deep squat under wide receiver’s chin at the line. Patient from press showing no panic or hurry in initial movements. Can pedal and mirror for a long time without opening hips. Tremendously gifted footwork. Mirrors and matches with good balance throughout the route. Matches changing route speed stride for stride. Plays from low side of route to take away comebacks. Uses big burst for recovery and closeouts. Carries true long speed down the field. Reads clues from off-man. Reads slants and drives in front of the route in search of an interception. Allowed just over 32 percent completions over last two years. Ballhawk with sudden hands to attack the throw. Bats throws down and will swirl arms around the catch point to prevent target from finishing the catch.


Frame is somewhat slight and he feels small in coverage at times. Lacks play strength to jam and disrupt. Appears to avoid route contact so he doesn’t upset coverage balance. Physical receivers can body him around at the top of the route. Needs to turn and find football sooner with back to the ball. Always around the throw, but lack of size and length shows up with “just misses” in pass defense. Several pass breakups came on throws with poor placement. Coverage benefitted from deep, talented rush unit up front. Has issues disengaging from big blocking receivers. Big backs drag him for a ride in run support.

Draft Projection Round 1

NFL Comparison Chris Harris Jr.

Chat Sports takes a look at Ward:

The cocky cornerback was a monster in the Big 10 this year, racking up 15 pass deflections and a pick while completely locking down one half of the field. He’s electric, smart, and will be bonafide #1 CB in the NFL. Despite his lack of size, he’s a very physical corner and isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty. He should be one of the first 10 picks in the upcoming NFL draft, but the only question for Ward at this point is what team he’s going to dominate on.


-Absurdly quick
-Excellent ball skills
-Has the swagger you want in a CB
-Big hitter
-Good blitzer when needed
-Very smart player


-Will struggle against physical receivers
-Not the most willing tackler
-Too timid in the run game
-Get blocked out of plays too easy
-Bigger WRs eat him up

Player Comparison: Chris Harris Jr.

NFL Draft Grade: 1st Round (#2 CB)

Projected Round: 1st

The Drafster on Ward:

Ohio State
Cornerback #12
Junior, 5’10” 191 pounds


Long and lean with the athleticism handle duties in the slot and along the perimeter
Production a product of his aggressive, competitive nature when the ball’s in the air
Easy mover with fluid movement skills, equal feet and loose hips that serve as catalysts for his ability to consistently mirror releases with ease
Elite burst and closing burst are evident when transitioning from his pedal to his downhill pursuit
Brings a battle to the catch-point with impressive savvy to directly play through pass-catcher’s hands
Plants himself in receivers’ pockets and remains in-phase down the field to consistently keep him in position to make a play
Understands how his responsibilities work in space and how to utilize leverage to generate turnovers when trailing
Springy leaper who times his attempts on throws with optimal timing


Frame is on the thinner side with room for further development
Timing remains a noticeable issue when getting his head around and locating the ball
Can transfer power through contact when he has space, but physicality as a run defender runs thin
Lack of overall girth has served as a hindrance when pressing and jamming bigger receivers
Requires further refinement when connecting his hands and feet to defend releases without panicking and grabbing in man
Has become reliant on explosion out of breaks to compensate for excessive steps

Pro comp: Jason Verrett

Draft projection: 1st Round

In a class of top-end talented corners, Ward is a name to stash away. He continues the recent run of impressive Buckeye corners that have been early selections and offer a potentially lengthy NFL career. Although he isn’t a physical specimen and is underwhelming size intensifies battles with receivers with the build advantage, Ward is supremely athletic and technically savvy to a degree that unquestionably warrants a first round selection. He can operate on both sides of the field and in the slot, increasing his value when considering his skill set that can succeed from a number of different coverage schemes. Ward has what it takes to find success in the league for a number of years.

Here’s the College Bio Page on Ward.

Some Quotes on Ward from


“Ward wasn’t high enough on my radar early in the year, but I went back and watched some tape from this season — and boy was I impressed. Spending last season behind Marshon Lattimore, Malik Hooker and Gareon Conley (all 2017 first-round picks), he didn’t get much playing time, but he has elite fluidity, quickness and recovery speed. He has closed the gap with Fitzpatrick and had 15 passes broken up (Fitzpatrick had eight).”


“Quick-twitch athlete with explosive movements in any direction. Owns track speed with immediate acceleration to close gaps – the ‘fastest guy’ at Ohio State during the Urban Meyer era, according to OSU strength and conditioning coach Mikey Marotti. Sudden, but composed with swivel hips and velvet feet to stay in phase with elusive receivers.

“Lacks ideal height and length for the outside, creating mismatch issues vs. bigger targets. Works hard in the weight room, but lacks ideal bulk and limb strength. Bad habit of grabbing cloth at the line of scrimmage or near the top of routes. Ward’s lack of inches shows at times in coverage and as a run defender, but he is a premier athlete with the budding instincts and required toughness to be trusted vs. NFL receivers on an island, either on the outside or in the slot. He is one of the top-three cornerbacks in this draft class.”

Ravens May Bring Back Wide Out Mike Wallace

Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome has not ruled out re-signing free agent wide receiver Mike Wallace according to Jamison Hensley of ESPN.

The 31-year-old Wallace has been in Baltimore the past two seasons and was without a doubt the Ravens’ best wideout in 2017-not that that is saying a lot considering he accomplished that feat with only 748 yards and four touchdowns on a woeful offense.

If the Ravens do bring Wallace back, he will likely have to settle for a team-friendly deal after the team signed free agent receivers Michael Crabtree and John Brown. There have been no other teams linked to the much-travelled Wallace since the start of free agency.

Ravens Free Agent Deal with WR Ryan Grant Voided After He Failed His Physical

Former Redskins wide receiver Ryan Grant’s four-year, $29 million contract with the Baltimore Ravens has been voided after Grant reportedly failed his physical according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Grant’s deal — which included $14.5 million guaranteed —was widely criticized around the league as a gross overpay for a former fifth-round pick who has never topped 573 yards in any season of his four-year NFL career. It is strongly suspected that what the Ravens saw in Grant’s physical was mainly buyer’s remorse and the front office used a rather underhanded tactic to get out of it. The timing is also curious, given that the news is coming out almost simultaneously with the Raiders release of veteran wideout Michael Crabtree and word that Baltimore will be the first team Crabtree visits on Friday. Crabtree is four years older than Grant but has a far more impressive resume. Even in what was considered a down year for him and the entire Oakland defense, Crabtree scored eight touchdowns-two more than Grant has scored in his entire NFL career.

What the Ravens have done is remarkably similar to what the Raiders did in 2014 to get out a massive free agent contract they immediately regretted signing with offensive tackle Rodger Saffold. As for the 27-year-old Grant, he will return to the free agency pool but will struggle to land a deal with even half of the guaranteed money initially offered in Baltimore.