The Baltimore Ravens have a number of key players on expiring contracts this season. And while the attention has undoubtedly been on Lamar Jackson and his potential new deal, it’s important not to overlook Mark Andrews.
Andrews is in the final year of his rookie deal in 2021 and will be looking to get paid as one of the top tight ends in football. Baltimore’s cap situation makes a possible extension a little tricky, but don’t expect that to dissuade the team.
The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec reported on Monday that Andrews is expected to remain with the Ravens past the 2021 season, “either via an extension or the franchise tag.”
Don’t expect Andrews to be going anywhere, despite the team’s cap situation.
The Ravens are expected to retain Mark Andrews this offseason.
Zrebiec insisted that the most likely outcome is that the two sides agree to terms on an extension, but that such a deal “could go down to the wire.”
Andrews might not surpass George Kittle and his $15 million per year figure, but the assumption is that he’ll be looking for at least $13 million per season.
And it’s hard to say he hasn’t earned it.
Since entering the league as a third-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Andrews has established himself as one of the best tight ends in the league.
He broke out in 2019 finishing with 64 catches for 852 yards and 10 touchdowns en route to his first Pro Bowl appearance. And he was productive again in 2020 hauling in a team-leading 58 catches for 701 yards and seven touchdowns.
Andrews is likely a top-five player at his position. But perhaps more importantly, he’s a favorite of Lamar Jackson.
Jackson’s favorite target in his three seasons in the NFL has without a doubt been Andrews. With the Ravens lacking elite talent at the wide receiver position, Andrews has emerged as his quarterback’s preferred safety blanket.
What sense would it make to extend Jackson only to let his favorite (and best) target walk in free agency?
If the two sides fail to agree on a long-term extension, the Ravens always have the franchise tag to fall back on.
It’s rarely an ideal scenario, especially for the player, but it’s a route the team could explore if extension talks stall.
Mark Andrews isn’t going anywhere. Expect him to remain in Baltimore at the very least through the 2022 season.