After much consternation just a few days ago, the Baltimore Ravens have now completed arguably their top priority this free agency period: working out a long-term contract with left tackle Eugene Monroe.
The deal that Monroe agreed to is reportedly worth $37.5 million over five years, per sources, though guaranteed money is not yet known.
Reports earlier in the week suggested that Monroe was seeking a contract worth approximately $10 million per season.
The deal that he has just signed averages just three quarters of that amount at $7.5 million per season. That would seem to indicate that the deal might involve a significant chunk of guaranteed money.
It also suggests that Monroe liked it in Baltimore and wanted to stay there, perhaps taking less money to do so as nearly all the free agent tackles quickly flew off the market within minutes of the 4 PM opening.
The Ravens traded their fourth- and fifth-round draft picks in the upcoming draft to the Jacksonville Jaguars in order to acquire Monroe after realizing that Bryant McKinnie was no longer an option at left tackle.
The deal seriously risked the possibility of offering just a one-year rental for his services, at the cost of two draft picks, but that situation has now been averted with the conclusion of this five-year contract.
The Ravens still have a decision to make about the right side of the offensive line, as right tackle Michael Oher remains a free agent. He allowed eight sacks last season and is a penalty magnet, notorious for false starts. He was twice flagged three or more times during the 2013 season in a game.
In addition to that, reserve lineman Jah Reid, who could be in line for a starting position this season, was recently arrested on battery charges, and a decision about his future is still to be made.
Update: Monroe’s contract includes $19 million guaranteed, with an $11 million bonus.