Jake From State Farm Suggests Eugene Monroe

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It’s that time of year again, and the annual chess match has begun between teams and their unrestricted free agents.

The Ravens have their work cut out for them. They have six starters from last season who are set to hit the open market on March 11th.

Reports have already surfaced that Eugene Monroe has no intentions of giving the Ravens a discount. In addition, according to sources, the Ravens and Dennis Pitta are “far apart” on what they see as a fair deal. This should come as no surprise this early in the off season. It’s rare that teams and agents are able to meet halfway in mid February, and it shouldn’t concern Ravens fans, yet.

The general consensus among fans and pundits is Pitta is the Ravens top priority. Aside from his production on the field he is one of Joe Flacco’s best friends, and chemistry is incredibly important among quarterbacks and their pass catchers.

With that said, just because Joe and Dennis like to hit up the local Olive Garden together, it shouldn’t be a factor in contract negotiations. While its likely the Ravens will find a way to retain Pitta, whether it’s a long term contract or via the franchise tag, Eugene Monroe is just as, if not more important to the Ravens success in 2014.

Ozzie Newsome and the Ravens no doubt have had every intention of keeping Monroe in Baltimore, for years to come, since they traded for him back in October. For a team that covets draft picks as much as the Ravens, they would never consider dealing a 4th and 5th round pick to Jacksonville for a half-season rental. They understand his value and the importance of the position he plays.

Monroe may not be an elite left tackle, but he is definitely in the top 10 at his position. Finding talent on the blind side can be as challenging as any position for a team, so much so that a projected LT has been taken in the top 10 in each draft of the last 5 years.

o 2013- Luke Joeckel #2 to the Jaguars
o 2012- Matt Kalil #4 to the Vikings
o 2011- Tyron Smith #9 to the Cowboys
o 2010- Trent Williams #4 to the Redskins
o 2009- Eugene Monroe #8 to the Jaguars

Compare this to the amount of TE’s that have been taken in the top 10 in these drafts, zero. This evidence suggests that LT is more important when stabilizing a sputtering offense.

As a matter of fact there has only been 3 TE’s taken in the first round altogether in the last 5 years

o 2013- Tyler Eifert #21 to the Bengals
o 2010- Jermaine Gresham #21 to the Bengals
o 2009- Brandon Pettigrew #20 to the Lions.

The Ravens 2012 Super Bowl run is a perfect example of why an offensive line is so important to a team’s overall success. Much is made of Joe Flacco’s stellar playoff performance where he tied Joe Montana’s record for most touchdowns with no interceptions on his way to being a Super Bowl MVP. However, that wouldn’t have been possible if it hadn’t been for the stellar play of the offensive line.

The Ravens paid Flacco a lot of money to be their franchise quarterback. Long departed Bryant McKinnie made a great analogy last offseason when talking about the value of a good left tackle protecting Joe.

“They bought a Maserati, now they need to pay for the insurance.”

Of course McKinnie was the insurance in the equation, and we all know how that worked out, but it was a good point regardless.

Eugene Monroe must be a big part of that policy.

 

Submitted by guest blogger Ryan Jones

4 Raves on “Jake From State Farm Suggests Eugene Monroe

  1. Jay on said:

    I think Eugene Monroe should be a priority for the Ravens. With all due respect, Pitta is coming off a major hip injury. He was an excellent target for Joe Flacco….his “safety” valve so to speak. But you’ve made Joe Flacco your franchise QB, you have to protect him like he is that! There are plenty of quality, athletic TE’s in this years draft. The Ravens would like to bring Pitta back-I’m sure Flacco wants his boy back as well-but the Ravens aren’t gonna be hard balled by Pitta and his agent. They know they aren’t in a position of strength…but they’re gonna fight nevertheless. There is no way I would franchise him. I hope the Ravens aren’t faced with that choice.

  2. Badwomen on said:

    Well said! We would all love to see Pita signed to a long term deal, but lets face it, just like Flacco he has performed and deserves to be paid too. Either way, our top priority is Eugene. Let’s give Flacco a chance to prove nay-sayers wrong…….. . . . . Insure the Lambo!!!

  3. Travis on said:

    Perfect analogy with the Maserati and the insurance policy. That’s exactly the way I’ve always seen it. Teams are paying huge money to their franchise Quaterbacks, and not having an outstanding talent at the LT position is just foolish. Joe Flacco should really be courting Monroe and not Dennis Pitta. I doubt Dennis Pitta will have as much of an influence on Joe having a long and healthy career.

  4. Ravens4Life on said:

    There are 120 million reasons that it is essential that Eugene Monroe be back next year. If Flacco isnt given the time or protection on his blind side then it doesnt matter who is running routes for him. Its a quaterback driven league which is why we need to protect him at all cost.

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