They’ve all quickly moved on, though, but another headline grabber is looking to stay, and he’s wearing a Super Bowl ring.
A Smyrna City Council meeting usually contains its mixture of public hearings and updates on city projects and upcoming events. But the most recent affair featured former Georgia Bulldog and New Orleans Saint defensive end Charles Grant successfully gaining approval for a liquor license for his soon-to-be-open sports bar.
Grant’s Bar & Grill will be at 2997 Cumberland Boulevard, just east of Cumberland Mall in a former Roasters restaurant. It will be the Colquitt native’s second establishment by the same name with the first located in Grant’s hometown and set to welcome its first anniversary in September.
The Smyrna locale should open in late July-early August according to Grant, who repeatedly chatted up his chicken wings and “great food for a great price’’ to the Smyrna council.
“The atmosphere will be outstanding; I’ve already got different deals for people to do things there,’’ Grant told Patch, hinting that some familiar football faces could be seen there. “The people want a change and need something different.’’
Grant is looking for some change, too. The 25th overall selection in the 2002 NFL draft, the former Bulldog was a force off the defensive edge for most of his first five seasons in the league, but his play in New Orleans declined in subsequent years following an ankle injury in 2007.
The following year he received a four-game suspension for use of a diuretic, which can be used to conceal steroid use. Due to litigation involving other NFL players accused of using the same diuretic, Grant’s suspension was and continues to be delayed. He started for much of the Saints’ 2009 Super Bowl championship season, but missed the postseason title run with a torn triceps.
Released weeks after the Super Bowl, Grant accomplished little on the field with the Dolphins and Bears last season. Off the field last year, he pleaded no contest to affray, which means public fighting, for an incident that took place outside a Blakely, Ga., night club in Feb., 2008.
In the melee, a pregnant 23-year-old innocent bystander was shot and killed. Grant, who was one of seven men charged in the incident and did not have the gun that killed the woman, was fined $1,000 and ordered to pay $20,000 restitution.
The 32-year-old Grant is ready to put that chapter of his life behind him, but hasn’t closed the door on football. If the owners and players can figure out how to split the more than-$9 billion figure in annual revenue the NFL generates and conduct a season this fall, Grant knows he can contribute on the field.
“I hope I play for the Atlanta Falcons,’’ Grant told Patch. “I’m just blessed to be living and you will never see me with a sad face. If I can get in the right system with the right opportunity, I know I have at least five years in me. I know I can play, I just need a chance.’’
Whether he gets one or not remains to be see. That’s one reason why he’s expanding his restaurant business to the Jonquil City.
“It’s a great area,’ said Grant, who indicated that he had researched the entire metro area before settling on his Smyrna locale. “I did the demographics and this is the best place. There is life after football and I want to help the community of Smyrna be a better community. ‘’