Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Ravens trade for Eugene Monroe

I'm going to be blunt.  I think this was an idiotic move by the Ravens.  Hell, the first suggestion that Google makes when I type in Eugene Monroe's name is "Eugene Monroe bust".  That's encouraging.  Truthfully, I don't think he is a bust, but merely a disappointment relative to where he was drafted (the 8th overall pick).

This is a move that smells of desperation.  Yes, the Ravens offensive line is a mess, but trading away future picks, even ones in later rounds, isn't the right thing to do just to put a band aid on a bad situation.  Treating late round picks as if they are worthless is a mistake, but doubly so when you are trading them away for a player who has so far been merely average.   The Ravens are making this decision because they aren't satisfied with their recent record, and are now wandering down the Jerry Jones/Daniel Snyder path of player acquisition.  The Ravens have enough fan support right now to ride out a bad stretch, and wait until next year's draft to rebuild, but they seem to be overreacting under some deluded belief that they can actually compete this year, which they probably can't.

Athletically Monroe is kind of on a similar tier to Michael Oher.  Actually, I would say that he is moderately better than that, but not so much as to make a real difference, in my opinion.

NAME Height     Weight         Arm   40 yard Kangaroo     Agility
Eugene Monroe 6'5 1/4 309     33 7/8" 5.18 0.340 -0.253
Michael Oher 6'4 1/2 309     33 1/2" 5.34 0.134 0.194

Yes, Monroe does a little bit better on the Kangaroo Score and a little bit worse on the Agility Score.  In the end though he is not a terribly unique athlete, and the fact that the Jaguars are willing to unload him should tell you something.  There is also the fact that even if he greatly outperforms my expectations, his rookie contract will be up after this season, forcing the Ravens to commit a lot a cash to him (which they don't have), and most likely cutting other high priced starters on a team that already lacks quality depth.  Actually, even if Monroe is just average, which is what I really expect of him, the team is still probably going to be forced to pay him to stick around, just to justify the draft picks they will have lost. 

I realize that a lot of people are going to see Monroe as the pretty new face on the team, and be hopeful because of his status as a former high draft pick.  Really, though, do you really think a team would let a left tackle and 8th overall pick leave their team, if he was actually an exceptional talent, let alone for a handful of low draft picks?  Just to be clear, I am not saying that Monroe sucks.  I just don't think he is likely to be a special enough player for the team to be binding themselves to, which I think this trade ensures they will be. positive....

Well, Monroe will almost certainly be better than McKinnie, who has been less of a physical presence than his friend Sweet Pea. The main reason this trade annoys me is because of the eventual financial cost of resigning Monroe after this season, when I would rather see the team going younger and cheaper (yes, Monroe is relatively young, but he probably won't be terribly cheap). 

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