The Baltimore Ravens have begun securing up their free agents ahead of the new league year beginning March 13.
The team held a press conference Thursday to announce the re-signing of tight end Nick Boyle to a three-year deal worth $18 million.
“I wanted to come back here right away,” Boyle said. “I didn’t want to go to another team. I don’t think [my wife] Kristina did, either. We love it here. We love the relationships. Is it interesting to see where I can go? As long as I thought [the deal] was fair and something that we wanted here, I would just come back here.”
Drafted by the Ravens in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft, Boyle's blocking abilities have been vital to the teams success, something that many have overlooked considering he has yet to record a single touchdown.
“That’s a huge thing, like ‘Oh, paying this guy a lot, and he didn’t get a touchdown,’"Boyle added. "Whatever they want to say, they can say. It’s not hurting my feelings.
I have a lot of pride in what I do. Whether it’s catching a pass or having a really key block on a certain play, I think I get the same satisfaction out of it.”
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, one NFL coach said the 26-year-old out of Delaware, "would have been the best TE to hit free agency in the last three years."
Standing at 6-foot-4 and 270 pounds, his skillset will be of importance as the Ravens reshape their offense around quarterback Lamar Jackson's run-first mentality. According to ESPN's Mike Clay, Boyle played 297 snaps during Jackson's eight starts, that's 102 more than any other Ravens tight end. He also blocked on 78% of those plays and was targeted 10 times. In their Wild Card loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, Boyle only played 18 of 59 snaps.
"I think Nick is a huge piece of our offense going forward from the standpoint of how he plays and the tone he sets," head coach John Harbaugh said. "There's no question in my mind that he's the best blocking tight end in the league. But he's definitely an underrated talent in the passing game. He's an all-around tight end."
While Boyle's primary role has been blocking, the tight end did catch 23 passes for 213 yards in 2018.
While he has produced on-the-field, Boyle has dealt with a few off-the-field problems. During his first two seasons he was suspended for using performance enhancement drugs twice causing him to miss 14 games.
The Ravens are keeping their tight end depth chart homegrown with 2018 draft picks Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews in the mix. The Ravens reportedly flew in Patriots tight end Dwayne Allen for a meeting on Tuesday as well.
Pen to paper. ✔️ pic.twitter.com/6kzheQ9vsb— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) March 7, 2019
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