It’s crazy how much the league seems to undervalue Eugene Monroe. The Ravens were able to steal him from the Jaguars for a mid-round pick this season, probably the equivalent to what they would have gotten in a compensation pick had he just left as a free agent this off-season. Now they lock him up long-term for 37.5 million over 5 years with 19 million guaranteed. Monroe has been a top-16 offensive tackle on ProFootballFocus in each of the last 3 seasons, maxing out as #6 in 2011. He graded out 16th overall this season, but playing even better once he was traded to Baltimore. The Baltimore “version” of Monroe was the #12 offensive tackle this season.
Even if we use his composite grade for the 2013 season, Monroe is still one of just 4 offensive tackles to grade out in the top-16 on Pro Football Focus in each of the last 3 seasons (Joe Thomas, Michael Roos, Andrew Whitworth). Despite that kind of consistency, Monroe’s average annual salary of 7.5 million is just 11th in the NFL, behind both Thomas and Whitworth and only slightly ahead of the underpaid Roos, who happens to be going into his age 32 season, while Monroe is going into his age 27 season.
Compare this deal to the one the Dolphins gave Branden Albert, who got 46 million over 5 years. Albert has never graded out higher than 18th on Pro Football Focus and has declined in each of the past 3 seasons, grading out 18th, 25th, and 28th. Albert also is going into his age 30 season and has a history of injury. It looks like Ozzie Newsome, annually one of the league’s best GMs, has done it again, locking up a player at or below market value.