The Baltimore Ravens made it official on Wednesday, holding a press conference to welcome back left tackle Eugene Monroe.
Monroe and the Ravens agreed to a new five-year contract worth a reported $37.5 million and including $19 million in guaranteed money, thus securing the protection of Joe Flacco’s blind side for 2014 and beyond.
“The trade for Monroe was probably the first trade I ever made in season,” General Manager Ozzie Newsome acknowledged.
“The fact that we gave up draft picks for Eugene is an indication of how we felt about him,” Head Coach John Harbaugh added.
Deemed highly sought after by numerous organizations just days ago, Monroe opted to stay in Baltimore after the left tackle market changed drastically as free agency kicked off on Tuesday.
“Ultimately this was the best place for me, and I’m glad it worked out this way,” Monroe said about being in Baltimore. “There could be no better situation for me to be in. I’ve never won a championship, and that is something I have an opportunity to do that here with the Ravens.”
By securing Monroe at the aforementioned price, the Ravens certainly have to feel good not breaking the bank.
Some free agent models listed Monroe as the best available free agent left tackle on the market. However, Brandon Albert (five-year, $47 million), and Roger Saffold (five-year, 42.5 million) received more money than Eugene with only Jared Veldheer (five-year, $35 million) receiving less.
The “right player, right price” model has long been general manager Ozzie Newsome’s philosophy and Monroe certainly fits the bill.
The Ravens seem to be going down the list of their priorities and have managed to secure them all so far, starting with Terrell Suggs’ new deal then on to securing one of Flacco’s favorite targets in Dennis Pitta, and now Monroe.
While free agency has been underway for a little more than 24 hours the Ravens still have plenty of work to do and holes to fill.
Center, right tackle and left guard, as well as free safety, middle linebacker, and cornerback are all question marks moving forward now that Monroe has been inked.
It seems like a lot to fill but it’s early and the Ravens know that. Ozzie and the rest of the Ravens brass won’t be rushed into making bad decisions just to fill roster spots.
Sit back, relax and take a step back from the cliff, remember it’s never easy, never simple when it comes to the Ravens – but it’s usually effective.
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