2016 NFL Predictions: 5 Potential Landing Spots For Eugene Monroe
The NFL has a high-end offensive tackle out on the open market. Per reports, the Baltimore Ravens opted to cut loose star left tackle Eugene Monroe on Wednesday, ending his three-year run with the team.
After trade talks with Giants fell through, Ravens released OT Eugene Monroe, per sources. Now free agent. NYG, SD, SEA could have interest.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 15, 2016
Monroe was signed away from the Jacksonville Jaguars back in 2013 and managed to enjoy a strong debut season. Injuries destroyed his last two years with the team, however, robbing him of five games in 2014 and 10 in 2015.
Baltimore grew tired with Monroe’s hefty salary and lack of reliability due to ongoing health issues, while there was also some speculation that the team wasn’t too thrilled about his outspoken support for the legalization of marijuana.
Eugene Monroe said after his release that he ‘will never stop pushing’ NFL ‘to accept medical cannabis https://t.co/SDcYk8V081
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) June 16, 2016
Regardless of the true reason of the split, the release dropped a very strong talent on the open market, which immedately makes the 29-year old Monroe arguably the most sought after free agent.
From here, the big question is, where does Monroe go? Monroe arguably spent enough of his career wasting away on a losing team in Jacksonville, and provided he can stay healthy, he’ll likely prefer to latch on with a strong playoff contender.
That has some early teams already lining up, but the list could be a little bit bigger than what has initially been reported. Let’s take a look at five logical spots and land on a prediction for Monroe’s next NFL team:
The Seahawks are probably the leading candidate to land Monroe, as they’re already one of the heavily interested teams, per rumors. Seattle struggled badly with their o-line a year ago, forcing Russell Wilson to run wild more than ever and having difficult both in pass protection and in the running game.
A healthy Monroe gives them a steady, elite pass protector on the left side, as well as the versatility to operate on the right side.
San Francisco 49ers
The Niners have been dealing with their own issues, as offensive tackle Anthony Davis has toyed with the idea of retirement and the team still isn’t sure what he wants to do.
San Francisco has tried to move on, but still has question marks across the o-line. One great way to move on fully would be to bring in Monroe and if Davis does return, then they suddenly have amazing depth. They’d also keep the division rival Seahawks from nabbing him, so they could kill two birds with one stone with a huge signing.
New York Giants
The Giants are undoubtedly another team that has serious interest, as they’ve been struggling for years with both of their lines. The offensive line has given them big troubles, as their running game has not been overly consistent and Eli Manning is often pressured too much inside the pocket.
The Giants, who are interested in signing Eugene Monroe, say they have no problem with him expressing his beliefs https://t.co/ai6PMYGtzC
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) June 16, 2016
New York badly needs to work to improve inside the trenches and landing a stud veteran tackle could go a long way in doing that on the offensive side of the ball. The G-Men reportedly also don’t care about Monroe’s marijuana ties, either, so there might not be a whole lot preventing this move from happening.
The Bears are another team that have struggled with pass protection over the years. They recently signed veteran tackle Nate Chandler and seem to be unsure what to do with Kyle Long, as well.
Bringing in Monroe would take care of that dilemma, as they could then freely use both players as they see fit and have the left side of the line completely spoken for.
New England Patriots
If Monroe is going anywhere, it’s probably where a Super Bowl seems like a realistic possibility. Why not latch on with the Pats, who have seen their offensive line deteriorate over the years and absolutely could use some extra beef on either side.
Monroe’s real problem has been his health, but he remains in his prime and if he can just stay on the field, he could make sure Tom Brady stays on his feet. If Monroe wants a crack at a Super Bowl, the Pats are a good place to start.
Eugene Monroe Prediction
Usually the first few teams that pop up in free agency rumors are the ones to look at, and ESPN’s Adam Schefter – among others – have pointed to the Giants and Seahawks as two of the biggest threats.
Both teams need help at protecting the quarterback, but of the two, Seattle may need it a little more and with one of the more talented and deeper squads in the NFC, is much loser to another Super Bowl run. Monroe has to know that. Provided Seattle gives him the money he wants and doesn’t have an issue with his marijuana plugging (they apparently don’t), then Seattle looks like the safe play.
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