Free Agent Focus with Insider insight: LB Larry Grant

US PRESSWIRE

Now we set our sights on 49ers inside linebacker, Larry Grant and speak with a 49ers writer to lend some insight.

Since last off-season, when Larry Grant was a restricted free agent, there were many who were calling for the Raiders to pick him up and give up a late round pick. That obviously didn't happen and now Grant is set to become a unrestricted free agent which means if the Raiders want him, there are no strings attached.

Raiders' defensive coordinator, Jason Tarver, is quite familiar with Larry Grant. He coached him as a linebackers coach with the 49ers three seasons ago.

Grant has been a backup much of his career in San Francisco behind the All Pro duo of Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman. It may be time for a change of scenery and a short trip across the bay could be just the change he needs.

The Raiders are extremely thin at linebacker and it could be they have no one to fill the middle linebacker spot with the expected cutting of Rolando McClain and his 2012 replacement Omar Gaither probably let go as a free agent. Grant could prove as solid a replacement as any.

Here is was David Fucillo, from 49ers blog, Niners Nation had to say about Larry Grant:

Role: In 2012, Larry Grant was almost exclusively a special teams player. He is the primary backup at inside linebacker, but with Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman ahead of him, there was little opportunity other than some mop-up duty late in games. In 2011, Grant did get three starts late in 2011 when Willis suffered a hamstring injury. Grant was very solid in his place.

Strengths: Grant is a fantastic special teams player for the 49ers. As a linebacker, while not as strong an athlete as Willis or Bowman, he can make the needed tackles, and can be a solid play inside. He is not a No. 1 inside/middle linebacker, but appears to be a solid complementary option.

Weaknesses: He is not as athletic as the better linebackers in the league, so there is concern that he could get worn down in an every-down role.

Likelihood to test market: I think it is virtually guaranteed the 49ers let him test the market. If he signs somewhere else, there would be more concern about his loss as a special teams player than as an inside linebacker.

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