When Hayden Hurst called Mark Andrews to tell him he was being traded, there were tears. The talented tight ends entered the NFL together in 2018 and last season teamed with veteran Nick Boyle to form what they called a “three-headed monster” on a fearsome Ravens offense.
The trio was dominant on the field and almost inseparable off it. But with Hurst eager for a bigger role and Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta looking for useful draft capital, the former first-round pick was traded to the Atlanta Falcons two weeks ago. Andrews called Hurst “one of my best friends,” and still the news caught him off guard.
“I think, first of all, it was kind of a shock for me,” he said during a conference call Tuesday with Baltimore media. "I’m sad I won’t be able to have him next year. I won’t be able to talk to him next year as much. But I’m also excited for him. I’m excited for him to get more of an opportunity with Atlanta. I know that he’s going to thrive there. He’s a great player. I love him to death. But it’s exciting for him as well.
“But personally, I’m sad. I know Nick’s sad. The three-headed monster kind of got broken up a little bit, but again, we’re going to be just fine. Nick and I, we’ll do our jobs, and then obviously, we’re going to find someone else to help us out.”
Andrews, who was named to his first Pro Bowl after a dominant 2019 season (64 catches for 852 yards and 10 touchdowns), said the trade won’t change how he approaches the game, even if it might underscore his importance to the offense. Andrews was quarterback Lamar Jackson’s favorite target last season, and with his team-friendly rookie contract, he’s another high-value roster piece.
“I’ve always got a big chip on my shoulder,” Andrews said. “I’ve always kind of been someone to want to take the next step and be great each and every year, and getting better each and every year. Yeah, I think I had a good year last year. It’s all about improving on that. I don’t feel extra pressure because Hayden’s gone. Obviously, Hayden helped that group out a ton, but I feel like with the pieces that we have and everything that we’re going to do moving forward, the coaches will put me in great situations.”
Clark happy with moves
With the Ravens’ secondary in good shape this offseason, team officials have focused on their defensive line, trading for Pro Bowl defensive end Calais Campbell and signing defensive end Derek Wolfe.
Safety Chuck Clark said on the conference call Tuesday that he likes the moves “a lot.”
“You hate to see guys go, just because of the relationships you build with guys, but that’s the nature of our game and the nature of the business,” he said. “So it looks like we’re working to stop the run up front, and that’s why we’re bringing some big guys in.”