John Harbaugh: Eugene Monroe release about football circumstances only

AP

The Ravens released tackle Eugene Monroe on Wednesday and his departure didn’t come as much of a surprise since the team drafted Ronnie Stanley sixth overall and had previously gone public with their efforts to trade Monroe before the start of the regular season.

Monroe was also coming off of shoulder surgery and was due $6.5 million in salary, but some wondered if there was another reason for the team to move on. Monroe has been outspoken about his belief that the NFL should allow players to use marijuana for medicinal reasons and the team’s website noted after his release that the team did not “rally behind the cause.”

Monroe also wondered if that advocacy contributed to his release, but Ravens coach John Harbaugh insisted on Thursday that the move was only made for football reasons while also patting himself and the rest of the organization on the back for letting their players express opinions.

“Football circumstances changed from the end of the season until now,” Harbaugh said. “Football circumstances, 100 percent football circumstances. That’s it, that’s all it ever was. It’s well documented the circumstances and situation. It’s no reflection on Eugene Monroe in any way, it just has to do with the circumstances of the Ravens and that position. … This organization has always been very forward thinking, very open and very in front of all kinds of issues. We’ve always allowed our players to speak out, speak their mind and be who they are.”

Harbaugh had plenty of nice things to say about Monroe and said that he thinks he’ll do well wherever he lands next while the Ravens roll on with Stanley on the left side of their offensive line.