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Ravens TE suspended 10 games for PED violation

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Ravens TE suspended 10 games for PED violation

Ravens second-year tight end Nick Boyle has been suspended for the first 10 games of the 2016 season for violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing substances, the NFL announced Friday. It’s another red flag for Boyle, who was also suspended the final four games of last season for violating the league’s policy. Boyle will be allowed to participate in offseason activities, as well as preseason practices and games, before his suspension begins.

Boyle was a fifth-round pick from Delaware last season, and played well as a rookie until his suspension. Drafted primarily as a blocking tight end, Boyle was solid in that area, but also showed pass-catching skills with 18 catches for 153 yards. The Ravens still have two young tight ends on the roster – Crockett Gillmore, entering his third season, and Maxx Williams, who was drafted in the second round last year. However, losing Boyle hurts the Ravens depth at the position, especially if veteran Dennis Pitta is unable to resume his career after his second major hip surgery.

Losing Boyle may not change the Ravens’ draft strategy, but it raises questions about Boyle’s future with the team moving forward.

After Boyle’s suspension last year, Ravens coach John Harbuagh said, “He was telling me how stupid it was, and I agreed. It was pretty dumb. Hopefully he’ll grow and learn from that.

“The shame of it is here’s a guy that’s playing so well. He’s one of the gems of the draft class in terms of a fifth-round pick playing the way he does. He plays hard. He has been good in the pass game, good in the run game.”

However, Boyle has not been good at avoiding getting suspended. And to have an NFL future, that is something he will have to overcome.  

[RELATED: AFC North: Bengals brace for free agency hit

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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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