The Ravens have until 4 p.m. today to either re-sign left tackle Eugene Monroe or place the franchise tag on him.
Placing the franchise tag on Monroe would ensure he would be a Raven for at least one more season, and buy Baltimore more time to a long-term deal negotiate.
But it's an expensive proposition.
The franchise tender for offensive tackles this year is $11.65 million, costing nearly as much as coveted wide receivers and cornerbacks. It's so high because tackles* *often garner big contracts and the franchise tag is the average of offensive linemen's top deals.
All of that money would go towards this year's salary cap as well, whereas a long-term deal could be spread out over the course of the contract.
The Ravens and Monroe have made "some progress" in negotiations towards a new deal, according to The Baltimore Sun, but still reportedly remain financially far apart.
Both sides have said they would like to reach an agreement. Monroe's wife is from the Baltimore area and he enjoyed his time with the Ravens after coming from Jacksonville early in the season.
The Ravens would like Monroe, who is only 26 years old and regarded as the top tackle potentially to hit the market, to anchor the left side of their line. He was the Ravens' best lineman and the 12th-best tackle in the entire NFL, according to Pro Football Focus.
Baltimore also gave up fourth- and fifth-round picks to bring Monroe to Baltimore. If he did sign elsewhere, however, the Ravens would likely recoup those picks (or close to it) the following year in compensatory selections.
If the Ravens do put the franchise tag on Monroe, they would have until July 15 to work out a long-term deal and avoid having him play the entire season under the tag. The Ravens have signed every franchise player in team history to long-term contracts except for one, center Wally Williams in 1998.