Linebacker Larry Grant, an unsigned 49ers unrestricted free agent, has been suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2013 season after violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances, the NFL announced Friday.
Grant is an unrestricted free agent who has taken recent visits to meet with the Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots. If he signed with any team he will be allowed to participate in all offseason practices and exhibition games before serving his suspension at the start of the regular season, the NFL said. The 49ers and Grant's agent, Andy Simms, declined comment.
Grant, a four-year veteran, played in 19 regular-season and postseason games on special teams. In 2011, he started three games in place of injured Patrick Willis and played well. But Grant did not receive any interest as a restricted free agent and returned to the 49ers on a one-year contract. Grant originally entered the NFL as a seventh-round draft pick of the 49ers in 2008. He played 34 games for the St. Louis Rams over the next three seasons after being signed off the 49ers' practice squad.
This offseason, the 49ers signed inside linebacker Dan Skuta of the Cincinnati Bengals to a two-year, $3 million contract that includes a $300,000 signing bonus. Skuta is expected to fill Grant's role as a backup to Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman, as well as a core special-teams player.