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The 5 O'Clock Club: What’s the Ryan Grant plan?

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It’s 5 o’clock somewhere…

Washington Redskins v New Orleans Saints Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

The 5 o’clock club aims to provide a forum for reader-driven discussion at a time of day when there isn’t much NFL news being published. Feel free to introduce topics that interest you in the comments below.

Ryan Grant is now a free agent. Having been drafted in the 5th round of the 2015 draft, Grant has performed... well, about the way you hope a 5th round draft choice might. He has steadily improved, and this season became the Redskins most consistently reliable receiver.

Fans had generally been dissatisfied with Grant in the first three years of his career, but that was a product of two things. First, the hype that Grant got from Jay Gruden, who, after Grant’s rookie OTAs, talked about how the new draft pick ran routes like a 10-year veteran receiver. Secondly, Redskin fans had some seriously good receivers at the top of the depth chart during Grant’s first three years with the team, and his inconsistency when he got on the field was disappointing by contrast. With Garcon & DJax out, and Pryor and Quick in, things changed, and Ryan Grant has shown up pretty much every week with his crisp route running and suddenly reliable hands.

Now, following this pretty good 2017 season for the receiver, most fans take it for granted (no pun intended) that Ryan should be re-signed. Jay Gruden talked rather glowingly about Grant in the end-of-season press conference, and that praise didn’t generate any of the push back that it would have in previous seasons.

What I haven’t heard anyone talk about so far is: how much should Ryan Grant be paid on a new contract?

I’m no talent evaluator, so I decided to approach this question by looking at receivers who had comparable production to Grant this season. Here’s the list of players I found on a quick scan:

  • Albert Wilson
  • Emannuelle Sanders
  • Tyler Lockett
  • Martavis Bryant
  • Terrance Williams
  • Brandon LaFell
  • Eric Decker

Not all of these players are useful for contract projection.

  • Like Grant, Martavis Bryant and Tyler Lockett played this season on their rookie contracts, and haven’t yet signed extensions. That doesn’t help us.
  • Albert Wilson is playing this year on a Restricted Free Agent contract, which has its own rules which tend to reward the team with lower-than-market salary for the player, so we’ll scratch him as well.
  • Emmanuel Sanders played only 12 games this season, making his ‘comparable’ stats... well, incomparable.

That left me with these comparables:

It looks as though Grant’s salary range should be in the $4 - $4.5m APY, and given his age, his superior per reception average, and the natural inflation of player contract values, he probably needs to be at the top of that range, or a touch higher.

Who are the receivers in this range of APY?

I’ll leave it to you to decide what you think of Grant and how much he is worth to the Redskins. I’d suggest from this analysis that Grant will be offered a contract valued at around $4.5m - $4.75m APY.

Here’s a quick look at what a 4-year, $18m contract could look like:

Poll

What should the Redskins do about Ryan Grant?

This poll is closed

  • 45%
    Sign him to a 4-year, $18m deal
    (302 votes)
  • 42%
    Sign him, but pay him less
    (280 votes)
  • 1%
    Grant is worth more than that
    (11 votes)
  • 10%
    Let Ryan Grant walk
    (68 votes)
661 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who wins today’s AFC wildcard game?

This poll is closed

  • 73%
    Chiefs
    (291 votes)
  • 26%
    Titans
    (104 votes)
395 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who wins today’s NFC wildcard game?

This poll is closed

  • 66%
    Rams
    (266 votes)
  • 33%
    Falcons
    (135 votes)
401 votes total Vote Now