GREEN BAY – The Green Bay Packers did not pick a running back during the 2012 NFL Draft, and if they want to keep veteran Ryan Grant in their backfield rotation, they’re probably going to have to make a decision soon on the unrestricted free agent.
Grant, who visited the New England Patriots on April 20 and is thought to have received an offer from them, is now considering an offer from the Packers’ NFC North division rival Detroit Lions, agent Alan Herman said Thursday.
Grant believed there was mutual interest between him and the Packers, and coach Mike McCarthy has indicated that the team would like Grant back.
Grant, speaking on Green & Gold Today on March 12, said he thought there was a good chance he’d be back with the team after bouncing back from a season-erasing broken leg in the 2010 opener to play in 16 games (including playoffs) last year.
“It’s definitely an option, and there’s definitely a good chance. Green Bay said that they want me back, and it’s just a matter of whether or not we can come to terms on something,” Grant said. “I would love to come back. I think everyone knows that that’s my ideal situation.
“I think that Green Bay is a phenomenal organization, the guys on the team and what we’ve built there in the last five years is something special. Coach (Mike) McCarthy and the rest of the coaches I think are doing a great job across the board. And the community, the fans are the best. So of course, I think everybody knows that I’m a Packer at heart and I do want to stay.
“But that’s the business aspect of everything. I understand it, and I think both sides do. We’re just trying to move forward. And if we can work something out, that’d be awesome.”
Since then, however, Grant has been waiting on the Packers to make an effort to bring him back, and so far, it has not happened.
Grant shared running back duties with James Starks last season. While Starks carried 133 times for 578 yards (4.3-yard average) and one touchdown; Grant carried 134 times for 559 yards (4.2-yard average) and two TDs.
Starks was hampered by knee and ankle injuries throughout the second half of the season, and combined with a missed senior year at the University of Buffalo (shoulder) and the first half of his rookie NFL season spent on the physically unable to perform list (torn hamstring), there’s reason to wonder about his durability.
Meanwhile, 2011 third-round pick Alex Green is coming off a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered in October at Minnesota. McCarthy has said that Green is on schedule to return to action in training camp.
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