Saints sign free agent G Ben Grubbs
Pro Bowl guard Ben Grubbs agreed to terms on a five-year, $36
million free agent contract with New Orleans on Thursday as the
Saints moved to fill the void left when All-Pro left guard Carl
Nicks left in free agency for NFC South Division rival Tampa
Grubbs ”will prove to be an outstanding fit to our offensive
line and our team both on and off the field,” Saints general
manager Mickey Loomis said. ”Ben comes to us from an offense in
Baltimore that experienced a lot of success, both running the
football and in pass protection. He was a big part of that and we
believe that he can come right in and fit into our program without
missing a beat.”
The contract worked out between Loomis and Grubbs’ agent, Pat
Dye Jr., includes about $16 million in guaranteed money, including
a signing bonus of about $10 million.
The 6-foot-3, 310-pound Grubbs, a former Auburn standout, was
selected by Baltimore in the first round of the 2007 draft, the
29th pick overall. He became a starter at right guard during his
rookie season, then switched to left guard the following year.
He has helped clear running room for Ravens star running back
Ray Rice, who last season rushed for 1,364 yards and scored a
franchise-record 15 touchdowns.
The 28-year-old Grubbs, who grew up in Alabama, has played in 74
regular season games in his five-year NFL career, starting 70 of
them. He also has started in five playoff games for Baltimore,
including last season’s AFC championship game that the Ravens
narrowly lost to the New England Patriots.
In New Orleans, he’ll step into a tight-knight offensive line
that includes All-Pro right guard Jahri Evans, and he’ll line up
alongside veteran left tackle Jermon Bushrod.
Grubbs also will become part of an offense that last year set
numerous NFL records, including for total yards with 7,474 and net
team yards passing with 5,347. Grubbs will be responsible for
protecting quarterback Drew Brees, who passed for a single-season
record 5,476 yards.
Grubbs was a Pro Bowl alternate in 2009 and 2010, and was named
to the regular Pro Bowl roster for the first time last season.