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Eugene Monroe announces retirement: What now for Giants in offensive tackle search?

Giants had pursued the former Ravens tackle, but will now have to look elsewhere

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Baltimore Ravens
Eugene Monroe
Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Offensive tackle Eugene Monroe, a player the New York Giants were said to have tried to trade for and then sign as a free agent after the Baltimore Ravens released him, has announced his retirement. Monroe did so via The Players’ Tribune.

Here is part of what Monroe wrote:

Today, I am making my exit from the game of football. I’m leaving the sport I love — the sport that has consumed my existence for the last 18 years — to start a new life. I’m nervous, but I feel like I’m ready for whatever comes next. I have three beautiful children and an amazing wife, and they will be with me as I take these next steps.

I’m only 29 and I still have the physical ability to play at a very high level, so I know that my decision to retire may be puzzling to some. But I am thinking of my family first right now — and my health and my future.

The last 18 years have been full of traumatic injuries to both my head and my body. I’m not complaining, just stating a fact. Has the damage to my brain already been done? Do I have CTE? I hope I don’t, but over 90% of the brains of former NFL players that have been examined showed signs of the disease. I am terrified.

My wife used to joke about the “little things I forget,” but now she’s more concerned about things like me putting my phone in the freezer and then tearing up our house looking for it. Things like that were just a joke around the house until this past winter, when my four-year-old daughter said, “Daddy you don’t remember anything!” Since then, she’s said it a few more times.

Where does Monroe’s retirement leave the Giants if they are going to upgrade their right tackle position? Let’s take a look.

Anthony Davis

The former San Francisco 49ers right tackle is still officially retired. And his rights still belong to the 49ers, though it seems he has no desire to play for San Francisco. With “kudos” to our friends at Niners Nation, it seems that Davis has been working out as if he intends to play.

Davis is 26, has 71 career starts and is a Piscataway, N.J. native. A move to the Giants continues to make sense — provided he is in shape and interested in playing.

Phil Loadholt

As we have said before, the Minnesota Vikings have more veteran offensive linemen than they need and Loadholt could be the odd man out after missing last season with a torn Achilles tendon. Loadholt, 30, has 89 career starts.

Here are some thoughts on Loadholt from Christopher Gates of The Daily Norseman:

“Loadholt had to take a pay cut to stay around for this season. He had a pretty hefty cap figure, but given that he hasn't been on the field for a regular season game since November of 2014 (having missed the last five games of 2014 with a pectoral injury and all of last season with an Achilles tear), it wasn't totally unexpected. The Vikings brought in Andre Smith to at least compete for the right tackle job, and it wouldn't surprise me if he wound up winning the job when it was all said and done. For a guy Loadholt's size, an Achilles injury wouldn't be that easy to come back from. He's been saying that he feels pretty good, but naturally nobody's going to know for a while. If the Vikings do decide to give the job to Smith, they would probably release Loadholt early on to give him an opportunity to latch on with another team.

“If Loadholt is healthy, he'd be a very good addition to a team looking for a right tackle. At this point, though, his health is a huge question mark.”

Luke Joeckel

The 2013 second overall pick has had a checkered career with the Jacksonville Jaguars and, in the final year of his rookie deal, faces a challenge for his job from Kelvin Beachum. Is there a possibility the Jaguars would deal Joeckel? He might make sense as a one-year flier to see if he can handle right tackle.

Here is Alfie Crow of Big Cat Country with some thoughts on Joeckel:

‘I do think Luke Joeckel is a trade candidate, but not until the season has started. The Jaguars signed Kelvin Beachum in the offseason with the idea he'd start at left tackle, but coming off a knee injury he likely won't hit the field until the middle of the preseason. The Jaguars will want to be sure that he's good to go before letting Joeckel go somewhere else. They also seem to have an idea Joeckel can start at left guard for them, but most don't think that's a good fit because he struggles most against power and putting him inside will just expose him to that constantly. As far as Joeckel being worth a flier, I think he is. He's not the colossal bust a lot make him out to be, but he's not good either. He's a mediocre left tackle who would likely also be a mediocre right tackle. He can be a liability but isn't a constant liability. He's a guy who if he struggles early in a game it will get in his head and he will struggle all game.”

Jake Long also remains a free agent.