Grant gets his payday

Four-year contract could be worth $31 million if he hits lofty incentives.

Standout halfback Ryan Grant has agreed to a four-year contract with the Green Bay Packers,'s Jay Glazer was the first to report.

The negotiations had turned bitter, with agent Alan Herman taking public the give-and-take between himself and the Packers. In the end, though, Herman got what he wanted for his client: a huge payday.

"There were ups and downs throughout the whole thing, but I tried to only focus on the things I had control of," Grant told the Wisconsin State Journal. "I'm glad it's over with, I really am. I'm glad I can get back to doing what I do."

According to reports, the contract could be worth $31 million if Grant hits incentives. Grant will pocket $4.25 million this season, including a $3 million roster bonus once he signs the contract on Sunday. By making it a roster bonus, all of that money counts on the 2008 cap — which the Packers are $30 million beneath, assuming Brett Favre stays off the books — rather than spreading it out over the four years of the deal, as would have been the case with a signing bonus. The base contract for this season is $750,000.

Grant stayed away from training camp, refusing to sign his $370,000 exclusive-rights free agent tender. Based on his limited NFL experience, Grant would have had to wait until after the 2010 season to become an unrestricted free agent. This new deal locks him up through the 2011 campaign.

"We never approached this with the idea of breaking the bank and treating it as an unrestricted situation, because it isn't," Herman told The Associated Press.

Before Grant emerged last season, the Packers were fortunate to pick up 3 yards per rush. Everything changed once Grant — acquired for a mere sixth-round pick from the Giants just before the start of the season — burst onto the scene. He rushed for 1,186 yards and 11 touchdowns in 12 games (including the playoffs), including six 100-yard games and a 201-yard performance against Seattle in the playoffs. Big plays became commonplace, with Grant ripping off runs of 23 or more yards in 10 of those games, including a stretch of nine straight.

His 929 yards in the final 10 games was topped only by Chargers star LaDainian Tomlinson's 947 during that season-ending span. He finished with 956 yards and eight touchdowns.

If Grant excels again in 2008, he'll give himself a hefty raise. If he rushes for 1,500 yards this season, he will earn another $4 million next season. There are lesser incentives for reaching 1,250 yards and 1,000 yards, plus extra money for honors like the Pro Bowl.

At 225 pounds and with a decisive running style, Grant packs quite a punch. And he's got surprising speed for a man his size, as evidenced by his string of long runs that included a pair of 60-plus-yard scoring jaunts.

Grant will not participate in Sunday night's Family Night Scrimmage, though he expects to be in attendance. Monday is an off day, so the soonest Grant will hit the field is Tuesday.

Once the signing is announced by the team, a roster spot will need to be cleared.

Packer Report Top Stories