Jerry Coleman: Monroe Cashes In, Jones Next
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The Ravens resigned left tackle Eugene Monroe, who was acquired in a midseason trade from the Jaguars. He started in place of Bryant McKinnie during the final 11 regular season games. Looking at the offensive line with Marshal Yanda, Kalechi Osemele, and Monroe, they still need more bodies to protect the franchise’s $120.6M Quarterback Joe Flacco.
General Manager Ozzie Newsome remained open minded about Monroe returning to the team because he is well aware that Tuesday marked the beginning of free agency and if a better offer was on the table he might have to take his talent elsewhere. Monroe was overjoyed about his new five-year contract worth $7.5M each year, rounding out at $37.5M after the completion of the 2019 season.
But Newsome was never sure the deal was done until he saw a signature “In history, I’ve had a guy in my office sitting with a pen in his hand and didn’t sign because [Dallas Cowboys owner] Jerry Jones sent his plane. (laughter) So, up until you get the name on the contract, it’s not done”.
Monroe does have ties to the state of Maryland. His wife is from Columbia. Solidifying his status as a Raven helps him progress his natural talent as a lineman after being in Jacksonville for his first five seasons resulting in not getting much attention from the league.
“It made the most sense for me career-wise and family-wise. There is no other place that I felt like I could have gone and gotten all of the things that I’m offered here. So, getting late in the process and getting interest from other teams, business-wise you have to listen to that.”
After being sacked 48 times in 2013, the Ravens can move forward with Monroe as a stable franchise LT in the organization’s eyes and can start making other decision about key players. Hours after the press conference concluded on Wednesday, the brass of the team did not waste any time and signed WR/RS Jacoby Jones to a four-year contract worth $14m, $4.5M guaranteed. Now, the Ravens have locked up three possible free agents that potentially could have tested the market but instead have a stable core for the future.
Follow Coleman on Twitter @sportswcoleman
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