The Ravens have no intention of letting tight end Mark Andrews hit free agency and have already begun contract talks.
Andrews is entering the final year of his rookie contract after being the Ravens' leading receiver over the past two seasons.
"We've had some preliminary discussions," General Manager Eric DeCosta said. "Mark is a very good player. 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."
DeCosta noted that Andrews and Orlando Brown Jr., who are close friends dating back to their days as teammates at Oklahoma, share the same agents. Considering Brown has requested a trade and Andrews is seeking an extension, it's been a one-stop shop for communication.
"We've spent some time talking to those two guys – Joe Panos and Justin Schulman. They're outstanding agents," DeCosta said. "We've started discussions on all these types of things. We try to be as aggressive and proactive as possible with our players looking forward and pushing things out."
No tight end has caught more touchdowns over the past two seasons than Andrews (17). He's part of the top tier of NFL tight ends.
However, it remains to be seen where his future contract will stack up alongside those signed last offseason by the San Francisco 49ers' George Kittle (five years, $75 million) and Kansas City Chiefs' Travis Kelce (four years, $58 million).
Andrews has become one of Lamar Jackson's favorite targets alongside wide receiver Marquise Brown. Andrews had 64 receptions for 852 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2019 and 58 receptions for 701 yards and seven touchdowns last season.