The New Orleans Saints knew they had to do something once starting left guard Carl Nicks departed the team for greener pastures, signing a $48-million dollar contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They wasted no timing moving on to a meeting with Ravens guard Ben Grubbs, who signed a five-year deal with the Saints today in replacement of Nicks.
Grubbs, a Pro Bowler in 2011, was considered the second best guard available in free agency this year behind Carl Nicks.
It would appear as well that the Saints got him cheaper than Nicks, as the details of the contract reveals his deal is worth a maximum of $36-million dollars with $15-million guaranteed.
Baltimore drafted Grubbs in the first round of the 2007 draft. He has since started 70 of a possible 74 games, and is widely considered to be one of the NFL’s premier guards.
Losing Nicks was a huge blow to the Saints, especially considering he left to join a division rival, but Grubbs signing lessens the severity of the loss and ensures New Orleans will maintain one of the best offensive lines in football.
In fact some think that Grubbs is a better fit in the Saints systems simply because he is a little smaller than Nicks, and thus more agile to “pull” on running plays — and with the speedy Darren Sproles in the backfield that should be a huge benefit.
With Drew Brees being one of the smaller quarterbacks in the NFL, having a smaller guard makes a lot of sense to boot