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How the Patriots’ Jonnu Smith signing impacts the Ravens’ pending extension with TE Mark Andrews

Big payday for Smith could mean more for Andrews

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The 2021 League Year has begun and ever so quickly have teams been dealing out their respective millions of dollars. One of the first big deals to be struck is between TE Jonnu Smith and the New England Patriots.

With this news, it’s hard not to wonder how this deal with impact the Ravens and Mark Andrews.

Currently, Andrews has one year left on his rookie contract. The final year being worth around $3.3 million. However, if the Ravens and Andrews want to get an extension done early, now the negotiating floor has been raised due to the Smith deal.

The average annual value (AAV) of Smith’s new deal with the Patriots sits at $12.5 million Also, more than 60% of the deal was guaranteed by the Patriots. The guaranteed money, more than the AAV, is going to impact contract talks between the two parties.

Reasoning

Before Smith’s deal, I already expected the negotiations for Andrews to sit around $13 million. Reason being, the top contracts for tight ends are George Kittle with $15 million AAV and Travis Kelce at $14.3 million. Though Andrews is one of the best tight ends in the league, he’s arguably a tier below the two, and I figured the Ravens won’t want to pay him more than these two.

However, the amount of money guaranteed in the Smith deal most certainly impacts the negotiations. With 62.5% of Smith’s deal guaranteed, this will be a strong leverage point for the Ravens. Especially with Andrews being one of the more durable pass-catchers in the Ravens offense, missing only three games in three seasons for the Baltimore Ravens.

Andrews is already No. 12 in receiving yards for the Ravens franchise and ranks No. 4 in receiving touchdowns for the franchise, also. He’s the best receiving threat on the roster and assuredly, he will want to be compensated as such. The money will likely be there and I’m not expecting the Ravens to let Lamar Jackson’s favorite target leave the building anytime soon.