NFL rumors are abuzz about offensive linemen Eugene Monroe’s availability on the open market according to Pro Football Rumors.
Monroe has only been an unrestricted free agent for a few days but has already garnered interest from the San Francisco 49ers, New York Giants, and Seattle Seahawks according to reports. The 29-year-old left tackle was released by the Baltimore Ravens on Wednesday.
Baltimore saved $20 million in cap space over the next three years, including $6.5 million in 2016, by waiving the oft-injured Monroe. Monroe appeared in just six games for the Ravens over the past two seasons and is coming off shoulder surgery. He signed a five-year, $37.5 million contract with the Ravens in 2014 after spending his four years in the league with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Rookie Ronnie Stanley, the No. 6 overall selection in this year’s draft, is expected to take over the left tackle spot for the Ravens.
While Monroe will essentially have his pick of teams to play for in 2016, he will take his time making a decision according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.
OT Eugene Monroe is expected to start making free agents as early as next week. Will take his time with training camps nearly six weeks away— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) June 17, 2016
The Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts, San Diego Chargers, and New England Patriots also could be interested in the 6-foot-5, 310-pounder.
Where will Monroe end up?
The Giants have shown the most interest in Monroe almost obtaining him in a trade, prior to his release. According to the New York Daily News, Giants head coach Ben McAdoo has no problem with Monroe’s advocacy of medical marijuana and the team is said to be hopeful that they can sign him.
New York started five new starters on the offensive line last year, and as expected there were some high and low points. On the positive side, the Giants allowed just 27 sacks (fourth fewest) and their passing attack finished seventh in the NFL while the team was No. 8 overall in total offense.
Penalties and run blocking were the Giants offensive line’s biggest issues. Tackles Ereck Flowers and Marshall Newhouse were No. 1 and No. 2 (tied) on the team in penalties with 10 and eight, respectively. New York had eight drives stall as a result of the pair’s penalties. Pro Football Focus ranked Flowers among the four worst left tackles last year and Newhouse was in the bottom-10 of the league’s right tackles.
Another one. Too quick for Flowers at LT. Just missed Eli. https://t.co/XDVCRaKagt— Bob Sturm (@SportsSturm) June 5, 2016
In the terms of run blocking, the Giants offensive line ranked 30th overall in power, 11th in stuffs (zero or negative yards allowed), 21st in average second-level yardage, and 23rd in open-field yardage in the run game according to Football Outsiders.
NFC East Position Rankings: Offensive Line https://t.co/uqXQym090C— Ereck Flowers NFL (@EreckFlowersNFL) June 13, 2016
However, New York seems committed to keep Flowers – the team’s 2015 first round draft choice – at left tackle. And Jason Cole of Bleacher Report said that Monroe does not want to move to right tackle. So, the Giants seem to be out of the running as of right now but that could change with an injury.
Seattle seems to be the most logical destination for Monroe as Russell Okung left for Denver in the offseason. The Seahawks, however, have not spent a lot of money on their offensive line and appear committed to using Gary Gilliam at left tackle and J’Marcus Webb at right tackle. Terry Poole and Bradley Sowell are also realistic options.
San Francisco’s offensive line struggled last year, allowing the second most sacks (53) in the league. The 49ers’ offensive line was ranked next to last in pass protection and last in run blocking. They do have one of the best left tackles in Joe Staley and unless San Francisco moves him to the right side of the line, there is no chance that Monroe goes to the Bay Area.
Arizona is currently set at left tackle with Jared Veldheer and is reportedly counting on 2015 first round pick, D.J. Humphries, to be the starter at right tackle.
Chicago could use an upgrade after a poor campaign by starting left tackle Charles Leno. The Bears did just added veteran Nate Chandler after bringing aboard Bobby Massie earlier this offseason.
Indianapolis and New England are more concerned about their right tackle than the left side. And with Monroe currently adamant about not playing right tackle, there really doesn’t seem to be a fit at either place.
As long as King Dunlap is healthy, the Chargers are set at left tackle. Dunlap missed nine games last season because of concussion and ankle issues. The 30-year-old has only appeared in 16 games once in his eight-year career (2014).
[Photo by Nick Wass/AP Images]