AFC Notes: Andrews, Allen, Patriots

We’ve heard a ton in recent weeks about Lamar Jackson‘s upcoming extension with the Ravens. All the back and forth about Jackson’s mom and her role in negotiations has caused a lot of people to forget that Baltimore has other orders of business as well. One of those is Mark Andrews, the young tight end currently set to enter the final year of his rookie deal. One way or the other, Andrews is “far too important to the Ravens offense to let him walk,” Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic opines. “Either via an extension or the franchise tag, Andrews will be a Raven in 2022,” he writes.

Although he might not surpass George Kittle‘s $15MM AAV to become the league’s highest-paid tight end, Zrebiec thinks “he probably won’t be far off.” He writes that Andrews will “likely command more than the” $12.5MM that both Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith got from the Patriots this offseason. The Ravens drafted Andrews 86th overall in 2018, and they got a steal. The Oklahoma product made the Pro Bowl in 2019, when he finished with 852 yards and 10 touchdowns. Last year he was once again Jackson’s favorite target over the middle, finishing with a solid 701 yards in 14 games. Zrebiec says the likeliest bet is Andrews gets an extension, so it sounds like Jackson won’t be the only member of Baltimore’s offense getting paid shortly.

Here’s more from around the AFC:

  • Speaking of extensions, Bills quarterback Josh Allen will need one soon too. Thanks to the fifth-year option Allen, like Jackson, is under contract through the 2022 season. But like with fellow 2018 draft class passer Baker Mayfield, extensions may come sooner rather than later. Vic Carruci of Buffalo News writes that he thinks the Bills and Allen “will work something out before the start of the season.” Carruci seems to think Allen will act “independently” of Mayfield and Jackson, and not wait around to make sure they go first and set the market. On the heels of a superb 2020 campaign, Allen will be looking for top of the quarterback market money, likely around $40MM annually on a new deal.
  • Staying in the AFC East, the Patriots have a new hire. New England is adding Richmond cornerbacks coach Ross Douglas to their staff as a quality control coach, Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports tweets. Douglas was only hired by Richmond in February before the Patriots have now poached him away. Thamel notes that Douglas spent 2020 on Greg Schiano’s staff at Rutgers and Schiano has connections to the Pats and Bill Belichick, so maybe that played a role here. Douglas played college ball at both Michigan and Rutgers between 2013-17.
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