The Jacksonville Jaguars have traded one of their few marquee players, left tackle Eugene Monroe, to the Baltimore Ravens, pending a successful physical.
The deal, which gives the Jags two 2014 draft picks, was first reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter and confirmed by NFL.com's Albert Breer.
Despite Monroe's talent, the Jaguars were smart to make this trade. It has given them the means to further their rebuilding efforts and will also aid the development of their top pick this year.
Jacksonville used the second overall choice in the 2013 NFL draft to select ex-Texas A&M standout Luke Joeckel. The dominant left tackle has been switched to the right side for the Jaguars, largely because Monroe was thriving on the left.
But Joeckel has struggled mightily, enduring a rough start to life in the pros. He will be buoyed by the prospect of moving back to his natural position.
It is a switch that could improve a woeful offensive line that has hamstrung the 0-4 Jaguars. Jacksonville's offense ranks last in the NFL in both points and yards.
Poor play along the O-line has been a major reason why. The running game is the worst in football, averaging just 49 yards per game.
Pass protection is barely any better. Through four games, the Jaguars have surrendered 18 sacks. That hardly helps an already shaky quarterback position, where hapless pair Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne vie for reps.
Of course, as much as moving Joeckel to left tackle might help, it could also be argued that losing Monroe further weakens a porous line.
But like many of the moves made by new head coach Gus Bradley and new general manager David Caldwell, this deal has been done with an eye firmly on the future.
Caldwell and Bradley are attempting to overhaul the roster and correct years of bad management in Jacksonville. They have looked to youth to help them do it.
The Jaguars used eight picks in this year's draft and Breer notes this trade gives them 10 for 2014. Trading for extra picks is a chance a regime rebuilding a franchise this short of talent has to take.
Bradley and Caldwell will have to be trusted to use their extra picks wisely and create a strong nucleus of youthful talent that can make the Wembley bound Jags relevant again.
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