Ravens tight end Mark Andrews watched good friend Orlando Brown Jr. land elsewhere this offseason. Andrews doesn't plan to have the same fate.
Andrews is entering the fourth and final year of his rookie contract, and he's seeking an extension that will place him among the top-paid at his position.
While Brown was boxed out by his desire to play left tackle, Andrews is very much in the Ravens' long-term plans. Both were third-round picks in 2018 and Andrews intends to be in Baltimore for a while.
"I love Baltimore. I love being here, I love playing here," Andrews said after Tuesday's OTA practice, where he had a strong day. "I want to be here for the rest of my life; this is home for me. That's where I'm at. I want to be the best player for this team."
Andrews said he's concentrating on building chemistry within the Ravens' upgraded offense, not his contract.
"You can't worry about too much about the outside noise and what happens with that," he said. "I'm just going to let my play speak for itself."
The 2019 Pro Bowler has been Lamar Jackson's go-to target. He's the Ravens' leader in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns over the past two seasons.
Andrews posted a team-high 64 catches for 852 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2019. He followed it up with 58 grabs for 701 yards and seven scores last season.
Andrews has caught more touchdowns (17) than any tight end in the league the past two years – ahead of the Chiefs' Travis Kelce, 49ers' George Kittle and Raiders' Darren Waller. Where Andrews ranks among that group and others is up for debate, but there's no doubt he's in the upper echelon.
In early March, General Manager Eric DeCosta said he'd held "some preliminary discussions" with Andrews about a contract extension.
"Mark is a very good player," DeCosta said. "I love everything about Mark – his personality, his ability, his work ethic, demeanor [and] competitiveness. He has a great family, and again, he's the type of guy we want to keep."
Andrews did not attend the Ravens' first week of OTAs because he wanted to attend his sister's graduation from dental school. He came the past two weeks and has impressed Head Coach John Harbaugh.
"Mark looks really good, he's practiced really well," Harbaugh said. "I told him today that I really feel like he's running routes the best that I've seen him run routes since he's been here – very crisp, very sharp and explosive and all of it."
Andrews has been getting after it this offseason back home in Arizona, including helping to organize a get-together with some of his teammates. Andrews said he's been running "a ton" and emphasized his route-running work.
"I feel like I'm getting in and out of breaks really well. I feel light and feel fast," Andrews said. "I'm excited to see what I can do."