Clayton: Free agent OT Eugene Monroe could still be in mix for Seahawks
The Seahawks left OTA’s with a young, reshuffled offensive line heading into the 2016 season. But NFL expert John Clayton told “Brock and Salk” Monday that he wouldn’t be surprised if they made a move for free agent left tackle Eugene Monroe.
“I still think he’s going to be in the mix for Seattle,” Clayton said.
The Ravens released Monroe, 29, last week after three injury-filled seasons with the team. The Jaguars drafted Monroe eighth overall in 2009 NFL Draft and he signed a five-year, $39 million deal with Baltimore in 2013. He started only 28 games over the past three seasons.
Clayton said Monroe has likely cost himself money by refusing to play right tackle for the three teams – San Francisco, Arizona and New York – that showed interest in signing him.
“He said no to them: ‘I’m not interested in being a right tackle,’” Clayton said. “So that makes Seattle, the one team that may consider a left tackle, a Monroe candidate. So we’ll see where that goes.”
Former right tackle Garry Gilliam is slated as the replacement for Russell Okung as the Seattle’s starter on the left side. Free agent signee Bradley Sowell took reps with the starting unit during OTAs, presumably because Gilliam was still recovering from a cyst that was removed from his knee.
Clayton says the Seahawks have $10.1 million in cap room and that, even if Seattle restructures wide receiver Doug Baldwin’s contract, the team should still have roughly $7 or $8 million in available space. Clayton speculated that Monroe would be willing to take a pay cut if it means playing left tackle.
“My guess is his value probably drops to about $4 million, kind of like that Evan Mathis deal that happened so late last year,” Clayton said. “When you get cut this late, your bargaining power is nil because you don’t have a lot of teams that are going for it. And when you put on the restriction that you just want to play one position, it may just have to be a one-year deal at $4 million.”
Brock Huard said he’d applaud a move for a veteran like Monroe to push Gilliam for the starting spot.
“Sign me up for that,” Huard said. “I think I would spend $3 or $4 million … for a veteran who has been there and at least done it before. Yeah, I’ll take that deal.”
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