A host of Ravens acknowledged and reacted Wednesday afternoon to the team’s trade for left tackle Eugene Monroe, a move that has not yet officially been completed but will shake up a scuffling offensive line.
Coach John Harbaugh said a couple of conditions still need to be met, but they’re not anticipated to be an issue. Monroe’s physical will take place today or tomorrow, but that isn’t expected to be a concern. The biggest one will be fitting his $3.8 million base salary under the cap.
“There’s some other things that still need to be worked out contractually,” Harbaugh said.
“He’s going to bring us a high-quality football player, a guy that we’ve had great respect for throughout his career so far in the NFL. Certainly coming out of UVA, he was very highly rated on our board. So we’re all very excited about it. I commend both sides for getting it done. I think it’s a plus for both sides. If you look at the terms of the trade, it’s really a good trade for both teams. So we’re looking forward to getting him in here and seeing how it goes.”
The terms of the deal have not yet been announced, but the Ravens are reportedly parting with multiple third-day draft picks.
Monroe’s best position is left tackle, a spot currently being filled by Bryant McKinnie. As for how the trade will specifically affect McKinnie and right tackle Michael Oher, Harbaugh doesn’t know yet. But it will.
“I think we’ll find that out,” Harbaugh said. “We’ll see as we go, but obviously we’re bringing Eugene in to play. How soon that can happen remains to be seen. The main thing is it makes us better. 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, use these guys all the best way we can.”
Harbaugh isn’t yet sure whether Monroe will be able to play Sunday at Miami.
How did guard Marshal Yanda first react to the news?
“Obviously, a surprise but it’s just part of the business. Obviously, the NFL, always working to get better as an organization and as a team. That’s (Ozzie Newsome’s) call, that’s their call,” Yanda said.
“In the NFL, every day is a new day and things happen fast and quickly. Obviously, guy’s jobs are lost and won every day and guys are traded. It happens, it’s part of this business. It’s a high-performance business to where they are always looking for ways to the team and rightfully so. That’s their job as well.”
As for whether this move will help, Yanda doesn’t know yet.
“I have no idea,” he said. “Obviously, the guys upstairs, they are making the moves for what’s best for the Ravens. I’m behind that. If they are bringing him in, I’m behind it. I’m with any of the moves that they make.”
Oher was drafted the same year as Monroe, and has known him for several years. Oher had nothing but praise for the 6-foot-5, 306-pound tackle.
“I’ve been watching him. We came out the same year, played in the Army Bowl with him coming out of high school. We always kept in contact,” Oher said. “He’s a good guy, he’s been doing well since he’s been in the league. Another good player to the team. ...
“He’s strong, athletic, can move. He’s a very hard worker, works hard in the offseason. Like I said, he’s a good player.”
As for why the Ravens might need a player like Monroe, Oher acknowledged the O-line’s poor play so far this year.
“It’s very frustrating for us as a line,” he said. “This is the same line that we had back in (2012) when we made the Super Bowl run. We’ve got the guys, we got good players here on this offensive line. It’s just something that we have to fix within because we have the guys. We look around the league and see guys and we have the guys to get things done. It’s not that. ...
“There’s not one thing that I can pinpoint. I guess we have to do a better job if we open a hole, open a bigger hole, stuff like that and get things done a lot better, I guess. That’s all I can see.”
Veteran defensive lineman Chris Canty joked that he was glad to have a fellow Virginia alum joining the team in Monroe.
But the joking stopped when he addressed the possible motivation behind making an in-season trade like that, a rarity for the Ravens.
“It’s not a sign of desperation. It’s a sign that this football team wants to win and we want to win now,” Canty said. “We’re not going to accept anything less than championship performance. Hopefully he comes in here and puts us, helps us be in a better position to win football games.”