The time has come and gone for the Baltimore Ravens to put a franchise tag on left tackle Eugene Monroe. The team now has just seven days to re-sign him before free agency kicks off on March 11.
The $11.65M franchise tag would have cost the Ravens dearly when it comes to their cap space, but Ravens columnist John Eisenberg still thinks the team needs to ante up in free agency to sign him to a long term deal.
If he departs, the Ravens would either have to a) sign another free agent to start at left tackle, b) find one in the draft, c) try to bring back Michael Oher and put him on the left side, or d) hope Kelechi Osemele can play there.
Monroe is preferable to those options. Another free agent would be similarly expensive and not necessarily better. The best starting-caliber tackles are liable to be off the draft board by the time the Ravens pick. Oher was better on the right side. Osemele is coming off back surgery.
Who knows what the market will be set at for the top free agent left tackles, but if Baltimore doesn’t want to find out they better hurry up and get a deal done with Monroe.