Ravens sign Nick Boyle to a three-year deal, locking up who reportedly would’ve been best TE available

The Ravens love tight ends. We know this because they drafted two last year — one in the first round, another in the fourth — and two more back in 2015 — a second and fifth-rounder. And it’s that 2015 fifth-rounder, Nick Boyle, who just signed a long-term contract.

According to reports, it’s a three-year, $18 million deal that makes Boyle the 15th-highest paid tight end in the league, just behind Vance McDonald and Eric Ebron.

That may seem like a lot — especially since Boyle managed just 23 receptions for 213 yards and no touchdowns in 13 starts last season. But this contract wasn’t based on past production but on expectations on what Boyle will become.

Meanwhile, CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reports that the Ravens will not re-sign Williams, the 2015 second-round pick who had just 16 receptions for 143 yards in ’18. In four seasons, Williams managed just 63 catches and three touchdowns. That means Baltimore will move forward with: Boyle, who played at Delaware; Hayden Hurst, the 2018 first-rounder who had 13 receptions for 163 yards and a score after missing four games with a foot injury; and fourth-rounder Mark Andrews, whose 34 receptions, 554 yards and three touchdowns made him one the the Ravens’ most promising offensive weapons.

This 68-yard touchdown grab against the Chargers late in the regular season confirmed Andrews’ playmaking abilities:

And now Boyle, Hurst and Andrews will anchor the position, one that has been among the most important in the Ravens’ offense dating back to Shannon Sharpe. Joe Flacco also leaned heavily on his tight ends, starting with Todd Heap and graduating to Dennis Pitta, Ben Watson, and the three young tight ends who become Lamar Jackson’s security blanket.

And that brings us back to the 26-year-old Boyle.

“He’s a huge piece of our offense going forward,” coach John Harbaugh said Thursday, adding that Boyle is one of the league’s best blocking tight ends.

And the stats confirm it; according to Pro Football Focus, Boyle ranked 23rd among all tight ends last season but was 10th in blocking. This is great news for new offensive coordinator Greg Roman, who will likely feature a run-heavy scheme with Lamar Jackson, and bad news for the rest of the AFC North.

Categories: National Sports

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