With free agency starting up today, the Baltimore Ravens made a move to keep one of their own players, left tackle Eugene Monroe.
It is a five-year deal worth a total of $37.5 million with $19 million guaranteed and a signing bonus of $11 million. This is an average of $7.5 million per season. When all contract details are known, I will post a contract breakdown.
He came over to the Ravens in a mid-season trade from the Jacksonville Jaguars this past season. The Ravens gave up a fourth and a fifth round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.
Once he came over in this trade, he helped stabilize the Ravens' offensive line which suffered through a bad season. Protecting quarterback Joe Flacco's blindside, Monroe gave up just five sacks this season.
According to Pro Football Focus, he was the 12th best offensive tackle (10th best left tackle) in the NFL this past season. In 2012 he graded as the 15th best offensive tackle (10th best left tackle).
Re-signing him was the Ravens' number one goal heading into free agency over the last few days. They had already re-signed tight end Dennis Pitta to a five-year deal earlier this month.
Keeping Monroe is a very important to the Ravens' offense. Since Hall-of-Fame left tackle Jonathan Ogden retired after the 2007 season, the Ravens have struggled to find a replacement for him. Monroe is the best left tackle to play for Baltimore since Ogden, so it was important for the Ravens to retain Monroe.
A few days ago, it looked like he wasn't going to re-sign with the team. They were reported to be too far apart in contract negotiations and the Ravens let the franchise tag deadline pass without placing their tag on him. However, over the last day or so, other teams needing a left tackle keyed in on other targets leaving him for the Ravens.
Overall this is a good deal for the Ravens. They needed to keep Monroe as their offensive line was a mess last season and he was a bright spot. Getting him for $7.5 million over five years is a plus for the Ravens as well. He is one of the better left tackles in the league and they re-signed him to an affordable deal.