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Ben McAdoo: OK with Eugene Monroe’s stance on medical marijuana

In this Dec. 7, 2014, file photo, Baltimore

In this Dec. 7, 2014, file photo, Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Eugene Monroe looks up from the sidelines during the first half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins in Miami Gardens, Fla. Monroe was released by the Ravens on Wednesday, June 15, 2016. Credit: AP / Lynne Sladky

The Giants may or may not sign veteran tackle Eugene Monroe, a free agent since his release from the Ravens on Wednesday. Either way, that decision will have very little to do with Monroe’s controversial stance on the use of medical marijuana.

“Everyone is entitled to their own opinion,” Giants coach Ben McAdoo said on Thursday. “Every player, every coach, every person with two feet running around has their own opinion and is entitled to it.”

It’s pretty clear that the Giants are not scared off by Monroe’s stance since they tried to acquire him in a trade with the Ravens before his release. But just to make it clear, when McAdoo was asked if he has any problem with a player expressing his opinion on marijuana use or any controversial topic, he said: “No.”

Monroe has advocated for the use of medical marijuana instead of other painkillers and addictive opioids that NFL players routinely use now. He has never failed a drug test and has spoken passionately, eloquently and well-informed on the subject. He has tweeted his belief that his very public position is one of the reasons the Ravens released him.

“Eugene is a heck of a player, one of the most athletic guys I’ve ever seen, especially at that size,” said Giants running back Rashad Jennings, who was in the same Jaguars draft class as Monroe in 2009 and has remained close to him.

But will Monroe’s views hamper his free agency?

“It should not affect his game play or how he carries himself,” Jennings said. “Great dude, stays out of trouble, clean guy, works really hard. I hope no GM or organization will hold it against him for speaking his opinion.”

Doesn’t seem as if the Giants will.

All work, no play for Ben

McAdoo said he plans on spending some more time with his wife and kids during the break from now until the start of training camp, but he’ll never fully remove himself from being coach of the Giants.

“I’m going to get a little bit done each day and work a little bit,” he said. “It’s hard to get away, especially when your passion and your profession merge.”

Giant steps

McAdoo said he thought the team started to “establish our identity” through the offseason program that ended with the final minicamp workout on Thursday. And what is that identity? “Sound, smart and tough, committed to discipline and poise,” McAdoo said. “We know what it looks like now. We had a chance to sit down, we had a chance to define it and lay the foundation for when we do get the pads on.” . . . Fourth-round pick LB B.J. Goodson from Clemson signed his rookie contract, the last of the drafted players to do so.

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