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Long-time Steelers stalwart announces his retirement

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Long-time Steelers stalwart announces his retirement

On a busy Friday for AFC North tight ends, the Steelers announced that 11-year veteran Heath Miller had decided to retire. Miller will leave the Steelers as the franchise’s all-time leader among tight ends in receptions (592), receiving yards (6,569), and touchdowns (45). The University of Virginia product won two Super Bowls with the Steelers and twice made the Pro Bowl.

“Since he was drafted in the first round in 2005, Heath has been an amazing player on the field and an outstanding contributor in our community,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said in a statement. “The chants of “HEEATH” will be missed at Heinz Field and around the entire NFL. Heath is the most accomplished tight end in team history and his efforts will not soon be forgotten. We wish his entire family the best in retirement.”

Miller issued a statement that read in part, “I realize how extremely fortunate and grateful I am to have spent my entire career as a Pittsburgh Steeler. I will always cherish and value the special bonds that I formed with my teammates.”

While Miller’s career was being celebrated by the Steelers, the Ravens were dealing with bad news on the tight end front. Second-year tight end Nick Boyle will miss the first 10 games of next season for violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing substances.

Miller joins a list of prominent players who have retired this offseason that includes Jared Allen, Marshawn Lynch, Rashean Mathis, Jared Mayo, Justin Tuck, and Charles Woodson. It has been a busy offseason already, and the combine and free agency have not even begun.

MORE RAVENS: BOYLE SUSPENDED 10 GAMES  

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Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst

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USA TODAY Sports

Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst

The Ravens have their entire 2018 draft class locked up.

The team agreed to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Hurst's rookie contract - like all first-round picks - is a four-year deal with a team option of a fifth year. According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the 25th overall pick is due $11.1 million. 

The 24-year old, who was a walk on at South Carolina at 21-years old after being drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2012, finished his three-year career with 100 receptions, 1,281 yards and three touchdowns.

Standing at 6-foot-3, Hurst will be a nice addition to the TE corps with Nick Boyle and third-round draft pick Mark Andrews. 

Fellow first-round pick Lamar Jackson signed his rookie contract on June 5th.

Training camp kicks off for the Ravens July 19th. 

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Ravens experimenting with getting Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson on field at same time

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Ravens experimenting with getting Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson on field at same time

Since drafting Lamar Jackson, the Ravens have made it clear that Joe Flacco is their starter. That doesn't mean they're not experimenting with having them both on the field at the same time, however. 

During this week's minicamp, the team has been lining Jackson up at multiple positions. 

"Gosh, I sure like him out there helping us," coach John Harbaugh said of Jackson during Tuesday's minicamp, via ESPN.com.

"If you put two quarterbacks on the field at once, what options does it create for our offense? That's what we're trying to figure out."

While at Louisville, Jackson rushed for 4,132 yards and 50 touchdowns in three seasons. That's more rushing yards than No. 2 overall pick Saquon Barkley. That unique skill set could be the creative options the Ravens are looking for. 

While at the NFL Combine, however, Jackson refused to workout at any other position than QB. 

"I have a lot of fun seeing what they come up with and what they're going to come up with next," Jackson said. "We'll see where it goes. You have to use your good players."

The Ravens are already viewing Jackson as one of those 'good players.' 

"Once he gets out of the pocket, it's like watching a young Michael Vick," LB C.J. Mosley said after minicamp practice. "It's amazing to watch. When you're defending him, you just have to act like you're tagging off -- you don't want to be on the highlight reel."

Harbaugh has alluded to the fact that the rookie will be active on game days, just exactly how they get the most out of him is what's in play.

"There's a lot of considerations that go into that," Harbaugh said of using two QBs at the once. "Everybody has an opinion. I've read a few. You want to find a way to get the most out of all your guys."

While Flacco isn't the fasted QB in the league, he has shown glimpses of running ability in the past. Figuring out how to utilize Flacco when Jackson is under center is where things will get interesting.

Interesting - as long as it works - is what Ravens fans have been searching for over the last several seasons. 

"Joe has to be able to do other things if [Jackson is] throwing the ball," Harbaugh said. "It gets the creative juices flowing for our offensive coaches, and they've worked hard on that."

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