Oct 7, 2012; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Chicago Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher (54) looks across the line at Jacksonville Jaguars tackle Eugene Monroe (75) during the third quarter at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Rumor: Tampa Bay Buccaneers to Pursue Tackle Eugene Monroe in Free Agency

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers need an overhaul on their offensive line over the next few years, as Donald Penn and Davin Joseph are on the decline, and Carl Nicks’ future in the NFL in doubt. But up until now, the Buccaneers weren’t linked to any logical choices to help rebuild the line, as Branden Albert was the only rumored player linked with the Buccaneers.

Albert is not enough of an upgrade over Penn to justify making the move and paying him a big free agent contract, but a new report states that the Buccaneers might be interested in a tackle who would be worth a big payday.

According to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun, the Buccaneers will “go after” Ravens left tackle Eugene Monroe in free agency should the Virginia product not come to a new deal with the Ravens before the start of the new league year.

Monroe is only 26 years old, and spent the first four years of his career in Jacksonville before being traded to Baltimore last season. He was the eighth overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, and has lived up to that pick over the course of his career.

He’s a solid pass blocker who allowed significantly fewer quarterback sacks, hits and hurries than Donald Penn last season, according to Pro Football Focus, and he’s also an above average run blocker. The only issue with bringing in Monroe will be price.

The top left tackles in the NFL currently have cap hits exceeding 10 million, and Monroe will almost certainly want to be paid as if he’s among those players. That means an increase in a few million over Donald Penn, although when adding Monroe, there’s also a substantial upgrade in ability to go along with the increased price tag.

If the Buccaneers don’t have to fork over a record deal for a left tackle just to land Monroe, this move would make a lot of sense. Monroe and Demar Doston would be a formidable duo of tackles for years to come in this scenario, and it would help whoever is under center in 2014 and beyond by providing more time to throw.

Would you be in favor of adding Monroe for the right price? Let us know in the comments.

(H/T to Justin “The Commish” Pawlowski for finding this bit of information.)

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