Ravens glad to have Eugene Monroe
The defending Super Bowl champions are just unsure when he'll play.
According to The Baltimore Sun, the Ravens will only have to pay $547,000 of the remaining $2.91 million left on Monroe's $3.8 million base salary for this season. This allows the Ravens, who had only $1.2 million in salary-cap space, to fit Monroe under the cap without having to cut or restructure a contract.
The Florida Times-Union reported earlier Wednesday that the Ravens will send two picks, one in the fourth and fifth rounds of the 2014 draft, to Jacksonville for Monroe. He flew into Baltimore Wednesday night and is scheduled to take a physical on Thursday, the final step to complete the trade.
Coach John Harbaugh said the team's newest left tackle likely won't join the team until Thursday, when he is expected to address the media.
"Obviously we're bringing Eugene in to play. How soon that can happen remains to be seen," Harbaugh said. "The main thing is it makes us better almost immediately in terms of adding a football player of that quality to our team. And we'll just figure it out and fit it together the way we can and use these guys the best way we can."
There is a possibility that the Ravens could sign Monroe to a contract extension later this season and make him the left tackle of the future rather than just the short term.
"He has one year left and we'll see how it shakes out over the next 12 weeks," Harbaugh said.
Many Ravens players said they were surprised by the move, the team's first trade during the regular season in its 18-year history.
"It goes to show you that, in the NFL, every day is a new day and things happen fast and quickly," guard Marshal Yanda said. "Guys' jobs are lost and won every day. Guys are traded. It happens. It's part of this business. It's a high-performance business to where they're always looking for ways to improve the team, and rightfully so. That's their job as well."
Defensive lineman Chris Canty said the trade wasn't a sign of desperation.
"It's a sign that this team wants to win and win now," Canty said. "We're not going to accept anything less than a championship performance."
"I have confidence in my guys," Flacco said. "I have confidence in who they're going to put around me. That's really the end of the story with that."
Monroe should help boost the Ravens' struggling running game, which ranks 28th in the NFL.
But running back Ray Rice believes it's going to take more than changing the starting lineup to get the ground attack back on track.
"We have to match the other team's intensity when we go out there to even want to be able to be effective in the run game." Rice said. "I don't have one guy on my offensive line on this team saying, 'We're going to screw this play up.' But what we're doing is, sometimes a guy wants it a little bit more on the other side. That's what we have to do, we have to fight that.
"We have to match the other team's intensity. Because everyone's getting a hat on a hat. We've just got to hold the blocks a little longer and we'll be fine."
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