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The Caw: Crazy That Eugene Monroe Is Just 26


If I had signed a contract yesterday with a reported $11 million signing bonus and $19 million guaranteed, I would have, in this order, done the Squirrel dance, run around the block with my hands triumphantly raised above my head, then posted "I'm riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiich" on my Facebook page.

Not newly-minted Ravens left tackle Eugene Monroe.

I called him minutes after his deal was complete and he sounded like he just woke up from a nap.

I was thinking about Monroe last night, and how crazy it is considering he's three years younger than me and now set for life.

In thinking about it more, it's not a surprising reaction from Monroe, however. He is the oldest 26-year-old I've ever met.

The Ravens signed a true professional, somebody that takes their job extremely seriously. Those of us that are around him on a daily basis know that, and you fans should too.

In terms of seriousness, Monroe reminds me of wide receiver Anquan Boldin and outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil. Boldin treated practices like a game. The only game Dumervil plays is football.

The difference between Monroe, Boldin and Dumervil is that Monroe is so much younger.

But you definitely wouldn't think that being around him. He seems like he's at least 32.

As proof of Monroe's professionalism, he never really left the Under Armour Performance Center after the season ended. He's been in here working out nearly every day, something not usually seen from players who are prospective free agents.

He came into the facility early to work out before his press conference on Wednesday.

"I train all year, so that doesn't change," Monroe told me. "I'm always going to get my work in, regardless of where I am. Why would I not come here? Everything I need is right here."

Monroe has a strict diet. He's quiet off the field, preferring offshore fishing to drinking like a fish. A large part of the reason why he stayed with the Ravens is because his wife is from the Baltimore area and he wanted to keep his kids around family.

It's a drastic change from some of the left tackles the Ravens have had in recent years.

The Ravens got a mature, talented pro. And when his five-year contract expires, he'll still only be 31 years old.

That's a year younger than he seems right now.

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