The Time is Now to Re-sign Eugene Monroe

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Baltimore Ravens
Eugene Monroe (60) in action against the Green Bay Packers at M&T Bank Stadium ~ Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

 

Both of the Ravens starting offensive tackles were first round draft picks in the 2009 NFL Draft.

Both will become free agents following the 2013 season.

Both Eugene Monroe and Michael Oher will NOT be calling Baltimore their football home in 2014.

One of the bright spots so far this season has been the play of LT Monroe since the Ravens traded for him back on October 2, 2013. Outside of a miscue that allowed Packers’ LB Nick Perry to strip-sack Joe Flacco during the waning moments of the first half on October 13, things have been quiet on the left side of the Ravens O-Line.

And that’s a good thing.

To get Monroe the Ravens sacrificed a fourth and a fifth round pick in the upcoming 2014 NFL Draft. Parting ways with draft picks for Ozzie Newsome & Co. is akin to Charlie Sheen choosing celibacy. So it stands to reason that the Ravens made the deal with the intent of re-signing Monroe long-term.

But when?

If the Ravens wait there are risks.

Upon his arrival Monroe probably felt relieved, suddenly removed from the NFL’s purgatory in Jacksonville, FL. He was the newest member of the World Champions, a perennial playoff contender and participant in three of he last five AFC Championship Games.

The team is led by a head coach who is 5 for 5 in playoff attempts, a GM generally recognized as among the game’s best and an owner who doesn’t meddle yet possesses a unique way of improving organizational accomplishment with a resourceful guiding hand.

The city embraces the team and packs M&T Bank Stadium with enthusiasm each and every home Sunday. In Baltimore they are king!

What player wouldn’t want to be a Raven?

But 2013 isn’t your typical Ravens season. It’s the first without Ray Lewis and it’s the one of the few times that a defending Super Bowl Champion has carried a record of (3-5) into Week 10. Monroe is also tied to an offensive line that can’t even crack 3 yards per carry despite a talented backfield.

The longer the Ravens wait, the higher Monroe’s price will be and it may be a price that the Ravens can’t afford given the potential salary cap issues that loom due to underperforming high priced talent like Haloti Ngata, Lardarius Webb, Marshal Yanda and Ray Rice.

More losses could accumulate.

Locker room tensions could climb.

Harbaugh and his coaches could lose the team’s confidence.

Of course a winning streak could cure all of this but based on 2013’s body of work so far, are the Ravens capable of a second half rally? Is the consistency there to allow the Ravens to go on a second half roll?

As each game passes and as the positive grades on Monroe accumulate and he gets closer to the end of the season when he’ll earn the title, “free agent”, 2009’s 10th overall pick will demand more money.

So what will it cost to get Monroe’s John Hancock on the dotted line now? A look at this past off-season’s free agent tackle signings reveals the following:

Notes

  • Cherilus’ guaranteed includes the $10 million signing bonus and all of his first-year base salary.

 

Given the above a fair deal for Monroe would be in the range of 4 years, $36-40M or 5 years, $45-50M, with about $20M guaranteed.

Based upon the low signing bonuses from the 2013 free agency period, the Ravens could easily structure a deal with a 2014 Cap number in the $2-5M range.

Waiting could prove costly and it could jeopardize the club’s chances of re-signing other key players like Daryl Smith and Arthur Jones. It could also place the Ravens in a bidding war with other teams willing to spend with a need to protect their QB’s like the Redskins and Dolphins for example.

A team struggling on the offensive front, a major problem that has had a negative rippling effect, can’t afford to lose its best linemen.

Do your thing Ozzie and do it now.

Your patience has rewarded you in the past but this isn’t one of those times.

In the NFL bad things can happen to those who wait…too long.

What should be the Ravens primary signing priority? (Select 2)
Total voters: 768
Re-signing Eugene Monroe (46%)
Re-signing Michael Oher (4%)
Re-signing Dennis Pitta (31%)
Re-signing Daryl Smith (12%)
Re-signing Arthur Jones (7%)
This poll has completed. Thank you for voting.
Brian McFarland contributed to this article

This entry was posted in Blog View, Featured, Lombardi's Way by Tony Lombardi. Bookmark the permalink.

About Tony Lombardi

Tony Lombardi
Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com) His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan. A diehard Fab Four fan, Tony is a frustrated musician who thinks beating on the steering wheel is akin...more

9 Raves on “The Time is Now to Re-sign Eugene Monroe

  1. richieG on said:

    Hey TL,
    Makes great sense – sure hope they don’t waste any more money on Oher. BTW, how much does coachCastillo count against the cap?!?
    Cheers

    • John P on said:

      Castillo’s cap number = offensives line cap + running backs cap + fullbacks cap (yes, that’s plural).

      Value = worst YPC since the merger.

      Hey Oz – how’s THAT for capology!

  2. Jeff on said:

    Among the options should be Ngata and Suggs as well. They are not free agents but their cap numbers next year are too high so they will either get a new/restructured contract or cut. Seems like Suggs is the more attractive option of those two. I would prioritize Suggs, Monroe, and Pitta. Next would be Art Jones and Ngata, though Ngata will just be too expensive and Jones may be as well. They also have good young replacements on the o-line (Williams and Lewis-Moore, who will be back from injury next year and should be great) and I forget if Canty is multi-year. I don’t see him coming back and some pieces have pointed out that Daryl Smith won’t be cheap next year and probably won’t make it back (Ravens usually get good value at that position and now have one highly paid lb in McClain and have spent a second round pick on Brown so it’s hard to see three big investments for two lb positions that are normally not highly paid).

  3. Jeff on said:

    Also forgot to mention that it would be great if we could sign Torrey Smith long-term the year before he becomes a free agent. The other people will be higher priorities but if there is cap room at the end Smith will get a good offer since the Ravens value him so highly, and for reasons that go well beyond his stellar play on the field. He has become a real leader and one of the faces of the franchise.

  4. Jeff on said:

    One more thing about Monroe’s desire to stay here; his wife is from Columbia MD and her family still lives there. When he came to the Ravens he said that was a big bonus for them. However, that might have just been a smart p.r. move on his part. :)

    • Mike on said:

      Don’t know if it was a P.R. Move but probably endeared him to his in-laws saying being close to them was a bonus but personally, if my in-laws were in Baltimore (or close by) I would have elected to play in Oakland or San Francisco.

  5. Greg on said:

    They won’t sign him to a new contract during the season, it’d be a statement to Oher that he won’t be back next year, and they’ll want to avoid that.

  6. bob on said:

    worst ravens O line in years. I totally agree. wrap him up, long term. Hell 2 fluko like contracts will set this team back a good 5 years!

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