It appears the 0-4 Jacksonville Jaguars have started purging their roster of veteran talent, agreeing to send left tackle Eugene Monroe to the Baltimore Ravens Tuesday. The Ravens confirmed the trade on Thursday, Oct. 3:
LT Eugene Monroe has passed his physical. The trade is official.— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) October 3, 2013
NFL.com's Ian Rapoport first reported the Jaguars will receive multiple draft picks in the trade, pending a physical:
ESPN's Adam Schefter then shed some light on where those picks would be located:
Update: Ravens are sending multiple third-day draft picks to Jacksonville in exchange for OT Eugene Monroe.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 2, 2013
Ryan O'Halloran of The Florida Times-Union followed with more details on the draft picks Jacksonville would acquire from Baltimore:
Source says #jaguars will get Baltimore's fourth and fifth round picks in 2014 for Monroe.— Ryan O'Halloran (@ryanohalloran) October 2, 2013
O'Halloran also followed up with details behind the thought-process of the deal:
Caldwell on trade: "They showed some real interest and had the power to do it ... Everything aligned perfectly." #Jaguars— Ryan O'Halloran (@ryanohalloran) October 3, 2013
Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun later outlined financial details surrounding the trade:
The Ravens have reached a financial arrangement with the Jacksonville Jaguars to account for a majority of the salary of newly-acquired left offensive tackle Eugene Monroe, according to two league sources.
Under the agreement, the Ravens will pay $547,000 of the remaining $2.91 million left this season on Monroe's $3.8 million base salary. The $547,000, to be paid through 13 weekly game checks, reflects Monroe's new salary-cap figure and the remaining proration this season from a minimum base salary of $715,000.
The Jaguars will pay $2.35 million, receiving fourth-round and fifth-round draft picks in exchange for the 2009 first-round draft pick from the University of Virginia. And Monroe receives that $2.35 million in a bonus from the AFC South franchise.
Selected by Jacksonville with the eighth overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft, Monroe immediately emerged as a blind-side starter on the Jacksonville offensive line. He appeared in 15 games (13 starts) during his first NFL season.
For his career, the 26-year-old out of Virginia has appeared in 65 games (62 starts) in five seasons for the Jaguars. He started all four of Jacksonville's contests in 2013.
Bleacher Report's Matt Miller has expected Monroe's departure since April:
It's clear the Jaguars are cleaning house and looking toward the future. Bill Barnwell of Grantland.com noted on Twitter:
Jaguars had the worst offense Football Outsiders has ever measured with Eugene Monroe around. Now he's going to Baltimore for picks. Yikes.— Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) October 2, 2013
Baltimore has had its fair share of struggles moving the ball on offense during the first four games of its title defense. Averaging just 317.5 yards per game—good for 28th in the league—the Ravens needed to make a move to shake things up.
As noted by ESPN's Jamison Hensley, the most obvious player affected by the trade is Baltimore offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie:
Eugene Monroe is considered a top 10 tackle in the league. Looks like McKinnie's days as a starter are numbered.— Jamison Hensley (@jamisonhensley) October 2, 2013
If nothing else, the trade for Monroe sends a message to Baltimore's offensive line that subpar play will not be tolerated moving forward.
Whatever Jacksonville's troubles may have been, Eugene Monroe is young, in his prime and a clear-cut starter. Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome is doing his best to ensure the defending Super Bowl champs have a chance to repeat last season's success later this year.