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With plenty of concerning surrounding their offensive line, the Ravens have reportedly made a significant move to address the situation with the acquisition of Jaguars left tackle Eugene Monroe.
According to multiple reports, general manager Ozzie Newsome is sending fourth- and fifth-round picks in the 2014 draft to Jacksonville in exchange for Monroe, a fifth-year tackle who has started 62 games in his NFL career after being selected with the eighth overall pick of the 2009 draft. He is under contract through this season with a base salary of $3.8 million after voiding the 2014 year of his original rookie deal.
Monroe is regarded as an above-average left tackle by most in the league, but his days in Jacksonville appeared numbered when the Jaguars selected offensive tackle Luke Joeckel with the second overall pick in this past April’s draft.
“It was shocking news,” Monroe told The Associated Press. “It came out of nowhere for me. I’m just preparing to make the move. It’s a fresh start.”
The move creates a gloomy picture for veteran left tackle Bryant McKinnie, who has struggled through the first four games of the season. McKinnie signed a two-year, $6.3 million deal that included a $2 million signing bonus in May to remain in Baltimore after fielding other free-agent offers from Miami and San Diego.
McKinnie told WNST.net he was aware of the trade and that the coaching staff had informed him of the move before the news broke late Tuesday night. Though McKinnie hasn’t been the biggest problem along the offensive line, the Ravens rank 28th in rushing offense and are averaging an anemic 2.6 yards per carry this season after setting a franchise record for fewest rushing attempts (nine) in their Week 4 loss to Buffalo.
The 6-foot-5, 306-pound Monroe went to the University of Virginia and is expected to arrive in Baltimore to take his physical on Wednesday.