The Baltimore Ravens made an interesting move today. Baltimore had been working on a trade that would send Monroe to the New York Giants. When the trade fell through, they decided to cut Monroe rather than continuing to work on the trade. This seems like a head scratcher to me given that a 7th round pick has more value than just getting rid of the guy. What’s more, the Ravens are taking a hit to the tune of roughly $6.5 million in dead money over the next two seasons.
Everyone assumes that they know the reason that Monroe is being released, but I think we should take a deeper look. The most obvious issue with Monroe is that he can’t seem to stay healthy. He’s played a total of 17 games in the last two seasons. That’s not very good. Next, the Ravens were able to free up $6.5 million (though they will take a $2.2 and $4.4 million hit over the next two seasons). So, in the world of NFL budgets, this was a very good move for the Ravens.
As for what Monroe contributed to the team- he hasn’t performed very well. Last year, he didn’t have enough plays to qualify for pro football focus to rank him, but he graded out to be a 79.1 overall player. That’s fairly average, however his specific grades are concerning. Monroe graded at 80.8 in the pass game, but only 66.4 in the running game. For reference, that puts Monroe’s run blocking grades out worse than guys like Jeremiah Poutasi, Sam Young, and Senio Kelemete who each ranked outside of the top qualifying 40 tackles in the NFL last year.
The real controversy comes when you look at what Eugene Monroe stands for. Here are two screenshots from his Twitter.
In the end, this may be one of the biggest issues that the Ravens had. Eugene Monroe has become an avid supporter of using medical marijuana. It’s a controversial stance. Once that Monroe firmly believes in. He is the first player to openly support the use of marijuana. Whether you agree or not, the Ravens have decided they aren’t particularly fond of Monroe’s stance. As an employer, they have that right, and have decided to cut ties with Monroe.
Monroe’s play and inability to stay on the field have offered significant reason to release him. When you add in saving $6.5 million and the fact that Monroe is pushing a stance that the Ravens don’t like, that’s a recipe for disaster. It’s no real surprise that Monroe was let go. Fortunately for the Ravens, they only gave up a 4th and 5th round pick for someone who was able to start at Left Tackle for them.
I think he signs with the Giants. I wish him the best of luck.