The Baltimore Ravens aren’t letting offensive tackle Eugene Monroe practice with the team, currently on a mission to trade him somewhere, before resorting to cutting him if there’s no choice. Head coach John Harbaugh spoke to the media and said right now the decision is in the hands of general manager Ozzie Newsome.
Monroe, 29, began his career with the Jacksonville Jaguars, playing for them until 2013, when he was traded to the Baltimore Ravens. After missing only four games through the first five seasons of his career, Monroe’s fitness and availability has taken a serious dip in recent years, playing only 17 games in 2014 and 2015 combined, leaving the Ravens with a lot of problems at left tackle.
Monroe isn’t easy to move. He signed a five year, $37.5 million contract on March 11, 2014. His contract only runs out after the 2018 season, with the cap hit hovering just under $9 million a season from 2016 onward. Releasing him this season will give the Ravens only $2.1 million of cap relief, while costing them $6.6 million in dead money. At no point during the contract does cutting him come without taking on some dead money. His base salary in 2016 is $6.5 million, and the Ravens want to avoid that.
There is also another reason the Ravens aren’t that eager to hold onto Monroe. Monroe’s campaign to remove marijuana from the league’s banned substances list is part of the reason the Ravens are set to move on from him. They wanted to deal him earlier, but they waited for him to get medical clearance, which he received last Wednesday.