Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome says backing out of Ryan Grant deal was strictly medical decision

The Ravens initially scheduled to have general manager Ozzie Newsome seated alongside his two wide-receiver additions, John Brown and Ryan Grant, on the stage at the Under Armour Performance Center on Friday. However, only Brown joined Newsome Friday morning, leaving the longtime Ravens’ decision maker to answer questions about the failed physical that likely ended Grant’s time with the team before it began.

“I did not get the results of Ryan's physical until about 4 o'clock yesterday. [There was] consultation between our doctors and other doctors around the country just to make sure, and they came back that he did not pass our physical,” Newsome said. “To me, that's not a football decision, that's a medical decision that I have no control over.”

Newsome and the Ravens have been highly scrutinized around the league for backing out of a four-year, $29 million deal to Grant that included $14.5 million guaranteed. Grant has never missed a game in his four-year career. However, Newsome mentioned that Grant had been on the Redskins’ injury report before the final few games of the Redskins regular season with an ankle injury.

The agreed-to contract would have been the second-largest deal the franchise has ever given out to a receiver and the size of it raised eyebrows around the league, given Grant’s modest production in his young career.

Grant, 27, has 84 career catches for 985 yards and six touchdown receptions in 64 career games.

Newsome said that coach John Harbaugh, offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg and wide receiver coach Bobby Engram all had reviewed Grant and were excited about what he could bring to the team’s offense.

“It would have been interesting if we would have been sitting here a year from now or two years from now, and those same people that are scrutinizing us for doing it, what they would have been thinking,” Newsome said. “They probably would have been hiding in a hole somewhere. But that's what we have to deal with. You can scrutinize John's deal – it's a one-year deal. That's what he wanted and that's what we were able to get. I can talk chapter and verse about people scrutinizing our deals – people scrutinize our deal with our quarterback, but he's won a Super Bowl for us.”

After leaving Baltimore, Grant is in Indianapolis for a free agent visit with the Colts. His agent, Rocky Arceneaux, told ESPN that Grant has been cleared medically and could play right now.

“I just trust those guys,” Newsome said of the team doctors and athletic trainers. “There have been other times, on lesser guys, that we thought we were going to sign during the season, but they don't pass the physical. You sit there and you just wait until you hear from the doctor. We have a scale and they give you some of the explanation and we move forward, whether they pass or fail.”

The Ravens have turned their focus to free agent receiver Michael Crabtree, who is currently at the facility meeting with team officials.



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