It took the New Orleans Saints barely 24 hours to replace one Pro Bowl guard with another.
The club announced Thursday is has signed former Baltimore Ravens guard Ben Grubbs to a five-year contract.
Grubbs was a Pro Bowl selection with the Ravens last season, his fifth in the NFL. The former first-round pick from Auburn was generally regarded as the second-best guard on the free agent market, behind Nicks.
Reports indicate that Grubbs’ deal is worth $36 million over the life of the contract, or more than $2 million per year less than the five-year, $47.5 million deal that Nicks signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday.
Grubbs is in great spirits after signing the big new contract, if his Q&A session on the Saints' official website is any indication.
SAINTS OFFICIAL RELEASE:
The New Orleans Saints announced today that they have agreed to terms on a five-year contract with unrestricted free agent G Ben Grubbs. The announcement was made by Saints' Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis.
"Our offensive line has been an integral part of our team's success on offense over the last six seasons," said Loomis. "We're excited that Ben will be a New Orleans Saint and think he will prove to be an outstanding fit to our offensive line and our team both on and off the field. 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."
A first round draft pick by the Baltimore Ravens (29th overall) out of Auburn University in 2007, Grubbs became a starter at right guard as a rookie in the fifth game of the season and made an immediate impact, as he was named to the Pro Football Weekly/Pro Football Writers Association All-Rookie team. The Eclectic, Alabama native moved over to the left guard position in 2008 and has appeared in 74 games with 70 starts overall and has also opened all five playoff games that the Ravens have appeared in over that period. Since moving to left guard in 2008, Grubbs has blocked for an offense that has ranked fourth in the NFL in rushing, averaging 131.3 yards per game and is also tied for fourth with 68 rushing touchdowns.
After being selected as a Pro Bowl first alternate in 2009 and 2010, the 6-3, 310-pounder was named for his first trip to the league's All-Star game in 2011 as he shook off an early season toe injury to help pave the way for Ravens RB Ray Rice to score a franchise-record 15 total touchdowns and rush for a career-high 1,364 yards, as the running back led the league with 2,068 yards from scrimmage for a team that advanced to the AFC Championship Game.
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