New England Patriots

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 08: Hayden Hurst #81 of the Baltimore Ravens stiff arms Walt Aikens #35 of the Miami Dolphins in the third quarter of the game at Hard Rock Stadium on September 8, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)

By Alex Barth,

Have the Patriots begun the process of upgrading the tight end position?

According to Jacksonville-area sportswriter Eugene Frenette, the Patriots are one of two teams who have placed a call to the Baltimore Ravens regarding tight end Hayden Hurst.

The 25th overall pick in the 2018 draft, Hurst has seen limited opportunities as a receiver due to the emergence of 2018 third-round pick Mark Andrews and the adapted offense Baltimore implemented for Lamar Jackson.

Playing on just 31.9 percent of the Ravens’ regular season snaps over the last two years, Hurst has caught 43 passes for 512 yards and three touchdowns. The 6-foot-4, 245 pound South Carolina product is also a factor as a blocker in the running game.

The question with Hurst isn’t whether or not he would fit in New England (he would), but what it would cost the team to acquire him. Reports right now indicate that the Ravens aren’t actively trying to move him, meaning the Patriots would need to blow them away with an offer, likely paying above his actual value.

ORCHARD PARK, NY – DECEMBER 08: Hayden Hurst #81 of the Baltimore Ravens runs with a reception for a touchdown during the third quarter against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field on December 8, 2019 in Orchard Park, New York. Baltimore defeats Buffalo 24-17. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

On top of that, the Ravens probably aren’t eager to help an AFC contender (especially the Patriots) improve. Jacksonville, the other team reportedly in the mix, is still in a rebuilding mode and adding Hurst isn’t nearly enough to make them a threat to Baltimore’s title chances this year.

If it’s Hurst or nobody, he wouldn’t be a bad pick-up for the Patriots. But to overpay before they have a chance to see who they can add in the draft or free agency may be a bit short sighted. If Jacksonville wants to beat them to the punch, let them be the ones to send Baltimore and arm and a leg.

Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Hate mail? Let him hear it on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at