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What has been anticipated for the past couple days has become official.
Former Ravens Pro Bowl guard Ben Grubbs has signed with the New Orleans Saints, the team announced.
“Ben comes to us from an offense in Baltimore that experienced a lot of success, both running the football and in pass protection,” Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis said. “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 departure of Grubbs, who the Ravens selected in the first round of the 2007 draft, is a significant blow to Baltimore’s offensive line. He’s also the third starter to leave the Ravens already in free agency, joining outside linebacker Jarret Johnson and defensive end Cory Redding.
But just as New Orleans signed Grubbs to replace departed free agent Carl Nicks – who Tampa Bay made the highest-paid guard in league history – the Ravens are reportedly already meeting with Grubbs’ replacement.
Evan Mathis, a 15-game starter in Philadelphia last year, is reportedly currently in meetings with Ravens officials. Grubbs was widely regarded as the second-best guard on the free-agent market. Mathis is seen as the third-best.
The Ravens made a strong effort to re-sign Grubbs, as Head Coach John Harbaugh indicated they offered “a lot of money” before free agency opened. But Grubbs decided to test the market to see if he could get a better deal.
He ended up getting paid a little more than what the Ravens gave right guard Marshal Yanda, which was reportedly a five-year, $32.5-million contract.