Did Baltimore Ravens play fast and loose with Ryan Grant’s failed physical?
Ryan Grant and the Baltimore Ravens struck a deal last week that reportedly would have paid the former Washington No. 3 wideout up to $29 million — and not a penny less than half of that — over four years. The value of the deal, even in a seller’s market for auxiliary wideouts, seemed completely out of whack.
Fast-forward to Tuesday, five days after Grant’s agreed-upon deal with Baltimore was voided because he failed his Ravens physical, when he reportedly came to terms with the Indianapolis Colts on a one-year, $5 million deal.
Grant — who never missed a game during his four-year Washington tenure — told ESPN’s Jamison Hensley on Tuesday, “If there was an issue with my ankle, I wouldn’t have passed the physical with the Colts and the [Oakland] Raiders. I can’t control what [the Ravens] did. I’ve seen multiple doctors and I’ve passed physicals, so that should pretty much speak for itself.”
It sounds like Grant is none too pleased with Baltimore — and why should he be? The former fifth-round pick, whose rookie deal with Washington totaled somewhere in the neighborhood of $2.5 million, just lost a minimum of $9 million and he can’t figure out why. Grant suffered an ankle injury in the 2017 finale, but his agent told ESPN that it was cleared by renowned surgeon Dr. Robert Anderson.
It’s hard not to at least consider the possibility that Baltimore, seemingly suffering from buyer’s remorse, seized the one chance it had to get out of a bad deal and ink a more proven player to a curiously similar one.
Indeed, the Ravens set up a visit with Michael Crabtree just hours after his release from Oakland and shortly before Grant’s failed physical was announced. Seems awfully convenient, doesn’t it?
Ozzie Newsome said of Grant’s failed physical: “That’s not a football decision. That’s a medical decision that I have no control over.” He went on to maintain Baltimore would’ve preferred to sign Grant and Crabtree — whose three-year, $21 million deal with at least $15 million in the first two seasons was confirmed by the club one day after Grant’s was null and void.
We can’t say for sure that the Ravens played loose and fast with their physical. We also can’t ignore Grant saying he passed two other teams’ physicals within days of Baltimore’s, and a third before his Washington exit interview in January.
What we will say is that the NFL and NFLPA should absolutely jointly investigate the matter and, if it turns out Baltimore did back out of its binding deal without actual cause, punish the Ravens severely to ensure others don’t think it’s an acceptable way of doing business.