It's been well over a decade since the Ravens have done a mid-season trade for a player… so you know the situation on the offensive line was as critical as we had reported.
Ozzie Newsome and John Harbaugh pulled the trigger yesterday on a trade that brings former 1st-Round Draft pick Eugene Monroe (left tackle) from the Jacksonville Jaguars to Baltimore. Reportedly, the Jags will pick up the $2.2 million of Monroe's remaining accrued signing bonus from back in 2009, and the Ravens will only be on the hook for the remainder of Monroe's $700,000 salary for 2013.
It's a talent win and a salary-cap win for the Ravens. Nobody knows if Monroe will be re-signed by the Ravens in 2014. That's because he will be a free agent since he is still essentially fulfilling the final year of his rookie contract with the Jaguars.
But his future looks quite bright to me…
Monroe's arrival may mean one of two things— (a) Hey Bryant McKinnie, get your act together…or (b) welcome, Baltimore, to your new starting left tackle.
Actually, Monroe is capable of playing right tackle as well, so Michael Oher better perk up, too…
Monroe is 6-5, 306, still only 26 years old, and is in his 5th year out of Virginia, having been drafted in Round 1 by the Jags in 2009…
I can only speculate why Jacksonville traded him for a mere handful of 5th, 6th and 7th Round draft picks in 2014… My best guess is Jax decided they are going nowhere this season… and would not be able to re-sign Monroe as a free agent in 2014, nor willing to put the "franchise tag" on him… Either that, or Jacksonville is realy planning on a sale of the team and a move to another city in 2014. Who knows?
The deal still has to be finalized by Monroe's passing a physical, but the Ravens expect the five-year veteran to arrive in Baltimore Wednesday night or Thursday.
How soon will it take before the former first-round pick takes the field for his new team?
“I don’t know,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said Wednesday. “He’s not here yet, so once we get him here we’ll figure that out.
“Obviously we’re bringing Eugene in to play. How soon that can happen remains to be seen. The main thing is that it makes us better. It makes us better almost immediately.”
The Ravens plan to use Monroe at left tackle, Harbaugh said, which could mean that he will replace veteran Bryant McKinnie in the starting lineup. McKinnie has started every game for the Ravens at left tackle this season. But the general feeling around Raven's Land is McKinnie has lost not only a step in his game but the desire to go all out for the sport that employs him.
Harbaugh did not specify how Monroe’s arrival will impact McKinnie’s status on the roster.
“We’re looking forward to getting him in here and seeing how it goes,” Harbaugh said.
Monroe is a veteran player who has been a starter in Jacksonville since his rookie season. Learning a new system in a matter of days presents a challenge, but his new teammates expect him to adjust quickly.
“It shouldn’t take too long,” right tackle Michael Oher said. “You’ve got power plays, inside zone, outside zone, pass. It’s all football for a lineman. It shouldn’t take him too long to get acclimated and get going.”
Monroe, 26, is in the final year of his rookie contract. The Ravens are looking for a long-term solution at left tackle, and the team could have interest in extending him beyond this season.
When asked about Monroe’s contract status affecting the trade, Harbaugh said “all of that stuff kind of weighs into it,” but did not say whether the Ravens would try to work out an extension during the season.
“He has one year left,” Harbaugh said. “We’ll see how it shakes out over the next 12 weeks.”
Even as it all shakes out, there's no question that the collective Ravens O-Line needs a spark of competition and motivation to fight a little harder and hold their blocks a little longer. Perhaps this is the strategic maneuver that is required. Blood in, blood out…