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Eugene Monroe, former Baltimore Ravens tackle, retires from NFL

Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Eugene Monroe looks up

Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Eugene Monroe looks up from the sidelines during the first half of an NFL game against the Miami Dolphins in Miami Gardens, Fla. on Dec. 7  2014. Credit: AP / Lynne Sladky

Giants fans who were hoping their team would sign Eugene Monroe now have to look elsewhere.

Monroe, the free-agent offensive tackle who was released by the Baltimore Ravens last month, announced his retirement from the NFL on Thursday morning in a post on The Players’ Tribune.

A source had told Newsday’s Tom Rock that the Giants were interested in Monroe, who was cut from the Ravens on June 15. Ereck Flowers, the No. 10 overall pick last year, and Marshall Newhouse currently bookend the Giants’ offensive line.

Monroe, 29, cited his long-term health as the main reason for his retirement. The eighth overall pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2009, Monroe’s 2015 season was cut short by a shoulder injury. He hadn’t played a full 16-game season since 2012.

“The last 18 years have been full of traumatic injuries to both my head and my body,” Monroe wrote. “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.”

Monroe said he has had trouble remembering where he put things, and that his wife and daughter have been growing more worried about his memory in recent months.

“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,” Monroe wrote. “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.”

Monroe added that “one of the first things I’m planning to do is to go to the doctor. I need to take stock of my current health, and I don’t want to miss a thing. I’m going to get brain and body imaging scans, mental health assessments — anything that might help me get a handle on the state of my body and my mind. My health is critical to the future of my family.”

Monroe has been an outspoken advocate of using medical marijuana as an alternative to painkillers and other opioids. He never failed an NFL drug test, but he did tweet prior to his release that he thought the Ravens were trying to “distance themselves” from the cause.

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said at minicamp that Monroe’s release was “100 percent football circumstances.” The team took Notre Dame left tackle Ronnie Stanley with the sixth pick in April’s draft.

Monroe wrote in the post he still plans to continue his fight for medical marijuana.

“More steps need to be taken to curb the overuse of opioids in NFL locker rooms,” Monroe wrote, “and I won’t rest until something is done.


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