Mark Andrews validated his massive contract extension by having one of the greatest receiving seasons by a tight end in NFL history in 2021. Andrews obliterated his career-highs for receptions and receiving yards in a season, finishing with 107 catches for 1,361 yards in earning first-team All-Pro honors at tight end.
Andrews tied for the third-most receptions for a tight end in a season and had the third-most receiving yards. He's just the seventh tight end to finish a season with 100 receptions and 1,000 receiving yards.
Prior to the start of the 2021 season, Andrews landed a four-year, $56 million contract extension with the Ravens -- avoiding free agency and keeping him in Baltimore for years to come. He already awarded the Ravens for paying him, but there's another step Andrews is seeking that will further justify his contract.
"I just work, man. I work hard ... so I'm hungry. But I don't really care [about accolades].Obviously, it was an honor to have a great season. But that's not the end goal," Andrews said. "The end goal is to, hopefully, [become] a Super Bowl champion and have a ring.
"That's why I'm here right now, that's why we're working hard. We have a special team. And obviously, last year wasn't the year we wanted, and we had a lot of things that kind of played into that. So, once we get guys back healthy, and we're working together, it's going to be awesome."
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Andrews is only 26 years old and his prime seasons are ahead of him, especially as the No. 1 option in the Ravens' passing game. With the uncertainty at wide receiver, the Ravens are relying on their tight ends to carry the passing game. That includes rookies Charlie Kolar and Isaiah Likely, both of whom were selected in the fourth round of this year's draft.
This Ravens offense has a 2019 vibe to it, when Andrews, Hayden Hurst, and Nick Boyle were top options as Lamar Jackson led the NFL with 36 touchdown passes en route to league MVP honors. Boyle is also on his way back after a gruesome knee injury derailed his 2021 season.
There's the potential Baltimore can recreate that 2019 offense that led the NFL in points scored and was second in total yards. That's one reason why Andrews is in Baltimore in late May, even if he's earned the right to skip voluntary OTAs if he so chooses.
"I think with just having all these guys, we're going to have the ability," Andrews said. "There's a lot of guys in our room that can play football, and we're only going to get better and better, learn the offense more.
"I love football. I love this place. I love this organization. It means a lot to me. [It's all about] just getting back and getting better. Just being here, being around the guys, being around the new guys. [Tight ends] coach [George] Godsey – getting to meet him. Just being around the fellas, making that team camaraderie. That's what it's all about, and I think it starts now."