Fooch's update: The Ravens have released Monroe.
The Baltimore Ravens find themselves in a bit of a pickle with left tackle Eugene Monroe. The team drafted Ronnie Stanley, and have been trying to figure out who would fit in where. Now it sounds like there is trade interest in Monroe. Head coach John Harbaugh said earlier this week that it is his understanding there is interest in Monroe, and so the team is holding him out of practice until that is resolved.
I've had a few people ask whether or not the 49ers would be interested in Monroe. He’s a talented left tackle, but injuries have kept him from emerging as a franchise cornerstone. He has missed 16 games the last two seasons, and the Ravens appear content to figure out a future that does not include him. The team has said they want the five best players on the line, so it is possible Monroe sticks around. But that could also be talk to drive trade discussions.
Monroe is under contract through 2018. He has a base salary of $6.5 million this season, and a cap hit of $8.7 million. He has base salaries of $6.75 million in 2017 and 2018, with an additional $2.2 million in prorated bonus money for his cap hit. If the Ravens were to trade him, the new team would only be responsible for the base salary portion of the cap hit. The Ravens would have $6.6 million in dead money to deal with if they dealt him this year. If they waited until next year, they would have $4.4 million in dead money.
Monroe would not fit in as a left tackle with the 49ers given the presence of Joe Staley. The right side of the line is a question, however. Erik Pears, Trenton Brown, John Theus, and Fahn Cooper have all gotten time at right tackle. The 49ers could decide to bring in a veteran in Monroe, particularly since cap space is not an issue. However, I just don't see the team bringing him in. Considering the rebuilding project this team is undergoing, adding Monroe, who hasn't been able to stay healthy, doesn’t seem to add nearly enough value to give up a draft pick in return. I suppose they could wait and see if the Ravens release Monroe. If the team was not enamored with Brown, and wanted to give Theus and/or Cooper some more development time, maybe Monroe makes sense as a short-term option. If they traded for him or signed him, any dead money issues in a later release would be minimal to none. But for now, I just don't see it happening.