The Baltimore Ravens knew that they needed an upgrade at left tackle over inconsistent, frustrating veteran Bryant McKinnie, and they got that upgrade by trading a mid-round pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars for Eugene Monroe. The move looked great at the time, and it’s looked even better as time has progressed. Not only has Monroe been the best player on the line this year (Marshal Yanda is usually better, but he hasn’t been as good as he usually is this season), but it also sounds like he’s going to be more than just a rental, which is what the Ravens hoped for when they acquired him.
According to the Ravens official Twitter account, Eugene Monroe stated his desire to stay with the Ravens. It will be interesting to see if this desire ends up leading to a discount for the Ravens, who desperately need to retain Monroe. A tackle of his caliber is always important to re-sign, but keeping Monroe is especially important for a Ravens team that saw horrendous blocking this season. Joe Flacco was sacked 48 times, and neither Ray Rice nor Bernard Pierce could get anything going on the ground. Monroe’s ability to protect the QB as a left tackle and make solid blocks in the running game make him such a valuable player.
Cost is an issue, but the Ravens are willing to pay a player of Monroe’s caliber and importance a good deal of money. He’s worth it, and what will also help free up some space for the Ravens is the fact that they will let sub-par right tackle Michael Oher walk in free agency. Even if Monroe costs more than Oher, it’s still worth re-signing him, especially since Oher’s price tag won’t be cheap on the open market.