After he was traded from the Jacksonville Jaguars to the Baltimore Ravens last October, left tackle Eugene Monroe became one of the better pass-blocking linemen in the NFL, giving up just 24 total pressures and four sacks in 467 passing snaps. That's an impressive total when protecting a quarterback in Joe Flacco who isn't exactly mobile and who takes a lot of longer drops. After the 2013 season, Monroe said that he wanted to command somewhere in the neighborhood of $10 million per year.
"You have to get the absolute best because you put forth your best effort all the time, every single day in this league," he told Baltimore radio station WNST in February. "So there are definitely no discounts, and you have to have you and your family's best interests at heart in terms of negotiating these deals."
Monroe didn't get quite was he was asking for on a per-year basis, but he will be staying in Baltimore, according to several reports, with a new five-year, $37 million deal. Monroe and the Ravens had maintained a dialogue throughout the offseason, and Monroe was certainly a major priority. In 2013, Baltimore's run game fell apart, and with several injuries to Flacco's receiving targets, the defending Super Bowl champs limped to an 8-8 record.
Jacksonville's first-round pick in the 2009 NFL draft out of Virginia, Monroe has played in 76 NFL games through his career, starting 73.
Grade: A. If we're living in a world where Rodger Saffold can get a five-year, $42.5 million deal (and we apparently are, according to the Oakland Raiders), the Ravens struck a great deal here. Monroe has all the physical tools to be a top-level offensive lineman, and he took some big steps forward once he left Jacksonville.GALLERY: NFL familiar faces in new places