The case for trading Hayden Hurst:
While there is a strong case for keeping Hurst, there are some equally strong arguments for trading the tight end. For one, Hurst very much was the third string tight end this past season. The star tight end of the Ravens is Mark Andrews, and it is easy to see why. Andrews was easily Jackson’s favorite target and he rewarded him with 10 touchdowns, a Ravens franchise record. Can Hurst break out and catch somewhere between five and eight touchdowns? Sure, but actually getting him the targets might be more difficult considering the Ravens have two young receivers on the roster they want to develop and will more than likely get another receiver in the upcoming draft.
Another reason Hurst could be traded is that his value at this time is probably as high as it is going to be. This upcoming draft has some solid options at tight end, but many sites are ranking the best tight ends of the group as second-round picks. Instead of selecting a tight end that may or may not pan out, Jacksonville or New England could decide to trade for a proven but not often used tight end in Hurst. As I mentioned before, he is athletic, has great hands, and has the body of a stud tight end. He could step in and immediately be the number one tight end on a team that is desperate for one. Though the Ravens are more than likely not going to get a first-round pick if they decide to trade him, they could get a 2nd and 5th round pick, which would be a great haul.
The final reason he could be traded away is his age. Hurst will be 27 in August, which is pretty old for a player who is still far away from getting his second contract. Will the Ravens decide to hold onto him and extend him when contracts for Andrews, Jackson, and Orlando Brown Jr will be coming up at the same time?
Keep in mind, that those three players I mentioned are 23 years old or younger right now. Also, if the team keeps Hurst until his contract year and then lets him walk in free agency, I see no way that the Ravens get a solid compensatory pick for him. Eric Decosta knows what he is doing and I trust he will make the right decision for the team.