Lawrence Guy’s name can be somewhat misleading. He isn’t just another guy.
That is, according to Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, who had Guy in the fold for the better part of three seasons before the 6-foot-4, 305-pound defensive lineman signed a four-year contract worth up to $19 million with the New England Patriots on March 11.
Harbaugh sees why the conference rival took interest.
“They’re getting a blue-collar, I would say undervalued player around the league,” Harbaugh said of Guy during the AFC coaches breakfast at the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix Tuesday. “I mean, don’t sleep on Lawrence Guy. Don’t underestimate this player.”
The 27-year-old Guy first entered the league as a Green Bay Packers seventh-round pick in 2011, before making stops with the Indianapolis Colts and San Diego Chargers through September of 2014.
He spent time on injured reserve and on the practice squad before then. He had entered for 24 NFL games. He had 38 tackles, one sack and four batted passes on his resume. But it was at that juncture that the Ravens claimed Guy off waivers. And thenceforth, the Arizona State product went on to carve a more permanent place on Baltimore’s 53-man roster.
Guy appeared in a total of 43 contests while with his fourth NFL organization, starting 17 to accrue 90 tackles, 5.5 sacks, a pair of pass deflections and one forced fumble through 2016.
Harbaugh got to know him well over that span.
“He’s a really good football player – run and pass,” Harbaugh reflected. “I love him to death. Every time I see him, he gives me this big, giant Lawrence Guy hug. He’s a great guy.”
That hug is one Harbaugh said he hopes to see replicated with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick as the beneficiary. Whether or not that’ll come to fruition, only time will tell.
For now, Guy stands alongside former first-round pick Malcom Brown, veteran starter Alan Branch, 2016 third-round pick Vincent Valentine, as well as ex-Denver Bronco Darius Kilgo and second-year undrafted free agent Woodrow Hamilton on Belichick’s depth chart.
That interior is just about at capacity. Harbaugh, though, believes Guy has what it takes to stand prominently within it.
“He’ll be a leader in the locker room,” added Harbaugh. “I thought it was a great signing by the Patriots.”
Guy is one of six out-of-house acquisitions the Patriots have made since the start of the 2017 league year. And while his name resides behind wideout Brandin Cooks, defensive end Kony Ealy, tight end Dwayne Allen, cornerback Stephon Gilmore and perhaps even running back Rex Burkhead in terms of notoriety, it is evident New England invested highly in a lesser-known commodity.
And that could very well pay dividends.
“I thought it was very Patriot-like to recognize his value, and to pay him they way they did,” Harbaugh said of Guy. “They paid him, I think, very well, and in a way that’s going to change his life forever. So, I’m very happy for him.”