Baltimore Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome never ceases to amaze me. Last night, Newsome traded a couple of mid to late draft picks next year to the Jacksonville Jaguars for starting LT Eugene Monroe. Never before can I remember the Ravens making a big in season trade like this, but I like it. The Ravens haven’t made it clear what the trade means, but it would be safe to assume that Monroe will take the starting LT spot from incumbent Bryant McKinnie.
I for one have never been a big fan of McKinnie. He was great in the magical playoff run last year and without him the Ravens probably don’t go all the way. McKinnie is great when he’s focused and in the game, but therein lies the problem. McKinnie isn’t always focused, and back in the offseason after he was resigned to an extension I had reservations on whether he could hold up through a 16-game season at age 34. Monroe is only 26 years old, but he is in the last year of his rookie deal. If the Ravens want to keep competing and have a some what long-term solution at LT it might behoove them to sign Monroe to an extension now. Drafting a LT of the future is hard to do when you’re constantly drafting in the late 20s every year. The Ravens will probably have three to four compensatory picks next year, as they seem to have most years. So giving away a few picks for a potential four or five year solution at LT is a steal.
By making this move the Ravens are proving that they’re not happy with the state of their offensive line and are willing to do something about it to still compete this year. The Ravens have had all sorts of issues running the ball, and in last week’s game against the Buffalo Bills, Joe Flacco was running for his life (four sacks, 12 hits). The Ravens have just increased their odds of winning the mediocre AFC North.
Read more from Dan Abeshouse here