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Several NFL teams are searching for a starting left tackle. That puts more pressure on the Ravens to re-sign left tackle Eugene Monroe before free agency begins March 11.
According to the Miami Herald, the Dolphins plan to pursue both Monroe and Chiefs free agent left tackle Branden Albert. In wake of the Richie Incognito – Jonathan Martin controversy, the Dolphins are rebuilding their offensive line, and signing either Monroe or Albert would be a good starting point.
The Panthers also lost one of the NFL’s premier left tackles Tuesday, when Jordan Gross announced his retirement. Does that mean Carolina will make a play for Monroe? Not likely, unless the Panthers free up more cap money than they already have.
Monroe is going to command a long-term deal, after playing out his five year, $26.25 million rookie contract. He is probably too expensive for the Panthers. However, the Cardinals also need a left tackle, making them another potential suitor for Monroe.
All of that puts Monroe in an enviable position at age 26, approaching what should be the prime seasons of his career. The Ravens acquired Monroe in an October trade with the Jaguars, in exchange for a fourth-round pick and a fifth-round pick in the upcoming draft. The Ravens made the Monroe trade with the intention of keeping him for more than just a few months. Baltimore’s offensive line had major issues last season, and losing Monroe would be serious blow.
Asked about Monroe’s contract situation at the combine, Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said, “Things happen right before free agency starts. We have been in discussions with Eugene and several other players.”
Signing Monroe before March 11 would be the best way for the Ravens to enter free agency. Because if Monroe hits the market, he may hear an offer he cannot refuse.