The Baltimore Ravens have been aggressively trying to re-sign star left tackle Eugene Monroe, and they made a few cap casualties (such as Vonta Leach and Jameel McClain) in an effort to clear enough space to re-sign offensive priorities Dennis Pitta and Monroe. While they were able to agree to a lucrative five-year deal to keep Pitta around, the Ravens are still working on a new deal for Monroe, who was brought in from the Jacksonville Jaguars in a trade last season.
They surely want him to be more than just a one-year rental, and they have even more of a need to re-sign him than they did when they traded him, as Michael Oher is also an impending free agent. Oher won’t be back, but the Ravens really need to keep Monroe around in order to stabilize the offensive line. He’s a star player and my third-ranked free agent this offseason, and his youth and combo of excellent pass blocking and run blocking make him an extremely valuable player. He knows it, so the Ravens will have to shell out plenty of cash to keep him around. Monroe was one of the lone bright spots on an awful Ravens offensive line last season, so Joe Flacco, Ray Rice, and Bernard Pierce certainly can’t afford to lose him.
The Ravens are expected to reach an agreement with Monroe today, but they will have to make upgrades on the line if they aren’t able to keep him around. Although he isn’t a tackle, Cleveland Browns star center Alex Mack could be an option for the Ravens as an OL upgrade if Monroe isn’t retained, per a tweet from the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Rapoport reports that the Ravens could make Mack an offer the Browns couldn’t match, as he is on the transition tag and the Browns have the right of first refusal for the elite center. The Ravens have a huge hole at center, so it’s at least worth keeping in mind that they could potentially poach a division rival’s star player if Monroe walks.