Over the weekend the NFL announced former 49ers linebacker and current free agent Larry Grant will be suspended for the first four games of the 2013 season. The suspension was handed out because Grant violated the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy.
Grant has only had a handful of visits with teams after he became a free agent in March. He was originally selected in the seventh-round of the 2008 draft by San Francisco, but he played his rookie season with the St. Louis Rams after being signed off the 49ers practice squad.
The Niners re-signed Grant in 2011 and he has played in every game the last two seasons either at linebacker or on special teams. If you recall, Grant made a name for himself in 2011 filling in for injured starter Patrick Willis. In the three games Grant started in place of Willis, the linebacker recorded 28 tackles, five passes defensed, one sack and one forced fumble. Last season, however, he saw limited action on the field at linebacker.
This will likely end Grant’s quest to find a team where he can compete for a starting job at linebacker. It also means he may not sign with a team until after he serves his four-game suspension in the regular season. If a team does sign Grant before the start of the regular season, he would be able to practice and play in the preseason. But this is highly unlikely as teams will not want to waste a roster spot on a player who would not be available until the fifth week of the season.