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Eugene Monroe Released by Baltimore Ravens

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist

Baltimore Ravens tackle Eugene Monroe (60) runs onto the field before an NFL preseason football game against the New Orleans Saints, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

The Eugene Monroe era at left tackle is seemingly over for the Baltimore Ravens, as the team has reportedly decided to release him after exploring a potential trade for the offensive lineman.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reported the move, noting Baltimore parted ways after trade talks with the New York Giants "fell through." Schefter noted the Giants, San Diego Chargers and Seattle Seahawks could have interest.

The move is far from a shock, as NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday the "expectation is that [Monroe] won't be on the team by the end of [Thursday]. Could even be traded or released by the end of [Wednesday]."

Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun reported Tuesday the Ravens are "moving on" from the veteran tackle at some point in the near future. Clifton Brown of CSN noted Monroe was not on the field with his teammates at minicamp Tuesday despite being cleared for action.

Monroe, 29, spent most of the 2015 season dealing with a shoulder injury. He was limited to just six games overall and has played 17 since signing a five-year, $37.5 million contract in March 2014. The Ravens will have a dead-money cap hit of $6.6 million, per Spotrac, though they would likely designate Monroe for a post-June 1 cut and spread that out.

The move runs contrary to what owner Steve Bisciotti said in March, per Zrebiec:

He is our left tackle going into next year. It's like [Mike] Campanaro. We think the world of him. But you have to know what you get out of the guy, and Eugene has been a pretty durable player these last couple years. But nobody works out harder than he does. I just feel bad. I think a lot of the speculation about us moving on from him clearly comes down to the fact that he's been hurt a lot, because he's played pretty well when he's been in there. We've always been happy with him when he's on the field.

The Ravens later selected Notre Dame's Ronnie Stanley with the No. 6 overall pick in April's draft. While that confirmed Monroe was no longer their long-term fit at left tackle, his presence on the roster all the way into June seemed to indicate he'd be around. It's possible the team was waiting until he was cleared to avoid an injury settlement.

A 2009 first-round pick, Monroe had been largely healthy before the last two seasons. He missed just four games in his first five seasons and emerged as a solid, albeit flawed, blindside protector. The Ravens acquired him four games into the 2013 season, and he played some of the best football of his career while playing at both tackle spots.

Monroe isn't going to lack for work, but he may be better off playing the right side going forward. He's always been a far better run-blocker than a pass-blocker, and moving him to the less taxing side may help him stay healthy. There are probably more than a dozen teams around the league that would benefit from having Monroe take over at right tackle.

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