ESPN's Adam Schefter was the first to report the move, noting the Ravens were in talks with the New York Giants about a potential trade but couldn't come to an agreement. Dan Graziano of ESPN reported the Giants "didn't want to trade an asset AND take on [Monroe's] contract."
Cutting Monroe will save Baltimore $2.1 million for 2016, per Over the Cap.
It looked as though Monroe's days were numbered with the Ravens after the team placed him on injured reserve in December. Kelechi Osemele's transition to left tackle cast further doubt on Monroe's future, since Osemele adjusted so seamlessly to his new position.
According to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun, the discord between Monroe and the Baltimore brass goes back even further than this past year:
As I mentioned a couple of days ago, Monroe and the Ravens just haven't seemed to be on the same page the past 15 months or so. The Ravens asked him to do a simple contract restructure last offseason and Monroe declined, which is his prerogative.
I'm not sure that Monroe and offensive line coach Juan Castillo have ever seen eye-to-eye on the best way to go about things. And Monroe's inability to get and stay on the field has frustrated both him and the team.
In January, Monroe dismissed any talk of his future, saying it was "not something I'm concerned with at all," per the Baltimore Sun's Jon Meoli.
At the NFL Scouting Combine, Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome offered a lukewarm endorsement of Monroe, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle:
That comment came at the same time Ravens head coach John Harbaugh confirmed the team was offering Osemele a "really aggressive deal" before he hit the open market, per Zrebiec.
However, Osemele signed with the Oakland Raiders for five years, $58.5 million, per NFL.com's Aditi Kinkhabwala. That potentially freed a starting spot for Monroe, except the Ravens selected Ronnie Stanley sixth overall in the 2016 draft.
Whether Stanley starts at left tackle right away or not, he's clearly the long-term answer at the position. Baltimore was going to cut its losses with Monroe sooner or later.
According to Monroe, his advocacy for marijuana use to help NFL players cope with the rigors of football also didn't sit well the Ravens:
Monroe should have some suitors on the free-agent market, but he's not going to command the same kind of deal—five years, $37.5 million—he signed with the Ravens in 2014.
For one, he has missed 15 games over the last two years. His performance never quite matched his salary, either, with Pro Football Focus giving him a 79.1 grade in 2015.
Still, Monroe can be a viable starting left tackle in the NFL as long as he stays healthy. The current free-agent market is thin at the position, so some team is bound to gamble on Monroe bouncing back in 2016.