Sources predict Ravens get Monroe deal done today; team having productive talks with Jacoby Jones
By By Aaron Wilson
The Baltimore Sun|
Mar 11, 2014 | 11:26 AM
Negotiations between the Ravens and offensive tackle Eugene Monroe are heating up and sources predict that a deal will get locked up today, barring any unanticipated snags in the contract discussions.
The Ravens have been negotiating with Monroe for weeks since meeting at the NFL scouting combine in February, and they have made up significant ground after being far apart last week, according to sources.
Although no deal has been struck yet and Monroe does have interest from other NFL teams in need of a left tackle, the dialogue has been characterized as productive.
The offensive tackle market is quickly shrinking, with an number of players expected to quickly sign deals when free agency opens at 4 p.m. That group includes Branden Albert (Miami Dolphins), Jared Veldheer (Arizona Cardinals) and Rodger Saffold (Oakland Raiders). Albert is expected to lead the pack with $9.5 million per year in compensation. The Ravens have gradually increased their offer to Monroe, who's expected to make between $8 million and $8.5 million per year.
The Ravens are determined to hold onto Monroe, who was acquired from the Jacksonville Jaguars in October in exchange for fourth- and fifth-round draft picks.
Meanwhile, the Ravens are in active talks with wide receiver and kick returner Jacoby Jones and sources say the team and Jones are maintaining hope that he'll remain with the team.
Jones has also fielded interest from several other NFL teams.
Jones missed four games with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee suffered in the season opener when teammate Brynden Trawick accidentally collided with him.
Jones returned after missing four games and caught 37 passes for 455 yards and two touchdowns. He also returned a kickoff for a touchdown in a win over the Minnesota Vikings.
Meanwhile, sources say defensive tackle Arthur Jones will sign with the Indianapolis Colts after being pursued by the Green Bay Packers, Washington Redskins, Tennessee Titans, New York Giants and the Minnesota Vikings.
Jones would be reunited with Colts coach Chuck Pagano, the former Ravens defensive coordinator, on a five-year contract averaging between $6 million and $7 million per year.
The Ravens aren't close to a deal with middle linebacker Daryl Smith, with the two sides disconnected at this time on contract parameters, according to a source.
The Ravens haven't ruled out bringing back nickel back Corey Graham, who's also drawn interest from the Washington Redskins, according to sources.
The Ravens and special teams contributor Jeromy Miles have mutual interest in him coming back, according to sources. Miles helped stabilize the kick coverage units last season and tied for third on the team with nine special-teams tackles.
Reserve inside linebacker Albert McClellan's two-year contract includes a $400,000 signing bonus. McClellan was scheduled to become a restricted free agent and was instead retained with a two-year contract.
The Ravens didn't extend a restricted tender offer to Tandon Doss, according to a source, and he will now become an unrestricted free agent.