According to Greg Rosenthall of NBC Sports, free agent guard Ben Grubbs and the Baltimore Ravens are not close to signing a new, long-term deal. Grubbs, who Pro Football Focus ranks as the third best free agent guard, has been a key component to the Ravens offensive line since earning the starting job as a rookie in 2007. But with the Ravens currently dealing with the expired contract situation of Ray Rice, who in all likelihood will be the recipient of Baltimore's franchise tag, and a contract extension for quarterback Joe Flacco, Grubbs likely will be available when the free agency period begins on March 16.
On the status of Grubbs and free agency, his agent Pat Dye said the following:
"Ben is extremely highly regarded in this league. He's in the prime of his career and may or may not have another opportunity to sign another significant contract," Grubbs' agent Pat Dye told the Baltimore Sun. "He needs to be sure that he explores all his options."
The other half of Baltimore's guard duo, fellow Pro Bowler Marshall Yanda, signed a 5 year/$32.5 million contract last season--a number which Grubbs' contract would rival. Coach John Harbaugh says that the team will pay "as such" to keep the Yanda/Grubbs tandem together.
"We've offered - I don't know if we've offered it yet - but we're in negotiations of offering a lot of money," Harbaugh said. "We're going to really make a run at Ben."
If Grubbs does decide to test free agency, then the Cincinnati Bengals would be one of several pursuers. The 25 year old Pro Bowler would immediately address Cincinnati's problems at guard, and while Grubbs won't come cheap, the Bengals have the cap room to make it happen. Signing Grubbs would also alleviate some anxiety the organization faces regarding the guard position, and although guard would still be a draft day need, other positional needs (cornerback, running back) would presumably take precedence.
A move which improves Cincinnati and hurts Baltimore would be a wonderful move indeed. Taking into account the contract necessary to sign him, would you agree with the Cincinnati Bengals signing Ben Grubbs?