Eugene Monroe, when healthy, is a starting left tackle. He’s also an outspoken advocate for the use of marijuana as a safe, effective, and nonaddictive way to manage pain. Though he announced that he had been medically cleared to play on June 8, he’s been held out of practice, and the Baltimore Ravens are reportedly trying to get rid of him as quickly as possible.
Ian Rapoport reported the team’s desires this morning:
The Ravens drafted Ronnie Stanley sixth overall—Laremy Tunsil was also available at that point—and he’ll likely start at left tackle, but it’s confusing as to why Baltimore would want to drop a healthy offensive lineman at this point of the year. His contract isn’t that expensive, and even if it were, there aren’t many reasons to make cap space in June.
Monroe has a theory. Last week, he claimed that his team was trying to keep him at arm’s length because of his advocacy:
Monroe regularly talks about the benefits of weed on Twitter, gives quotes about his mission, and wrote an essay in May for The Players’ Tribune arguing that the NFL should remove weed from its list of banned substances. Also, he hasn’t served a suspension in his career.
Of course, Monroe’s advocacy could have nothing to do with the Ravens’ decision. The team considers Stanley to be a starter already, and the 29-year-old Monroe has missed 15 games over the past two seasons due to injuries, including a concussion in last year’s season opener. And if a team has to opportunity to lose an off-the-field distraction, it will take it. Fellow Ravens lineman John Urschel’s interest outside of football is math, and it’s a big part of his life, but the NFL’s not suspending any players for studying vector calculus.
Update (3:29 p.m.):