On Wednesday, the Baltimore Ravens announced on Twitter that they have released offensive tackle Eugene Monroe. ESPN’s Adam Schefter has reported that the Ravens had attempted to trade Monroe to the New York Giants earlier this week, but instead, decided to release him once talks fell through.
We have terminated the contract of Eugene Monroe.
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) June 15, 2016
The release of Eugene Monroe should not come as much of a surprise to Ravens fans after the team opted to keep Monroe off the field during this week’s mandatory mini-camp. Whenever a player is forced to not participate in mini-camp like Monroe was this week with the Ravens, it is pretty clear that their fate has been decided and that they are on their way out. And, while it cannot be confirmed as of now, it is also pretty clear that the Ravens did not want anything to do with Eugene Monroe after he began his outspoken campaign to try and get the NFL to take marijuana off of its banned substance list. Any time an NFL player openly involves themselves with illegal drugs (Ricky Williams, etc), it never leads to anything good. Thus, giving the average football fan less reason to be taken by surprise by Monroe’s release. Monroe has been extremely active on social media in his promotion of the campaign and he tweeted on Friday that he believed the Ravens were attempting to distance themselves from him.
— Eugene Monroe (@MrEugeneMonroe) May 12, 2016
The release of Eugene Monroe opens up approximately $6.5 million in 2016 salary cap space. However, the Ravens will be forced to take on $2.2 million of guaranteed dead money in 2016 and $4.4 million in 2017 following Monroe’s release. In terms of a replacement for Eugene Monroe, the Ravens seem to have already found it in 2016 No. 6 overall draft pick, Ronnie Stanley (Notre Dame), who has already begun working out at the left tackle spot in Baltimore’s OTA’s and mini-camp.
Eugene Monroe may not be the best role model for young football fans due to his support for marijuana, but is Monroe’s and support for weed really worse than some of the crimes that have been committed by former Ravens studs such as Jamal Lewis, Ray Lewis, and Ray Rice (all of whom the Ravens decided to hold onto). Granted, the Ravens did end up releasing Ray Rice after the whole domestic violence mess took off in 2014. But, realistically, that was only because the Ravens knew that a firestorm of bad PR was going to be headed their way if they chose to hold onto Rice any longer. It’s a strange world we live in when smoking a little weed/supporting it gets you axed from your NFL team (a la Josh Gordon), but video surveillance of a player beating their wife in an elevator, police reports of a player threatening their family with bleach (Terrell Suggs) and a murder case (Ray Lewis) doesn’t get a player immediately released from their team. Keep doing you, Ravens!
There are a TON of teams in the NFL who are looking for solid offensive linemen (New England Patriots, New York Giants, San Diego Chargers), so it’s not too irrational of a thought to think that Monroe will find a new home soon. However, if Monroe were to end up in the Big Apple or New England, it’s a pretty safe bet that either Bill Belichick or Ben McAdoo will tell him to cool it down with the marijuana support and social media use. If he ends up in San Diego, however….