Ravens re-sign blocking tight end Eric Tomlinson to one-year deal

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Less than two weeks after extending the contract of top blocking tight end Nick Boyle, the Ravens have re-signed reserve Eric Tomlinson to a one-year deal.

The deal is worth $1.015 million — $125,000 guaranteed — and qualifies for the veteran salary benefit with a salary cap charge of $875,000, according to ESPN’s Field Yates.

Baltimore originally signed Tomlinson, 28, to its practice squad a week after Boyle sustained a season-ending knee injury in the Week 10 loss to New England. The 6-foot-6, 263-pound tight end appeared in the Ravens’ final eight games, including the postseason. Tomlinson didn’t record a reception, but he played 161 snaps for a run-first offense in need of his blocking contributions.

“Everybody knew Nick Boyle was such a centerpiece in our offense,” head coach John Harbaugh said after the Week 16 win over the New York Giants. “To be able to find Eric and have him now as he kind of grows into the offense and gets a feel for what we’re doing [and] have such a good game, he really blocked well. He was really a focal point in the blocking part of our offense. He’s been a big plus for us, and I’m sure glad he’s with us.”

The former undrafted free agent from UTEP has spent time with six other NFL organizations, appearing in 51 career games and making 17 catches for 194 yards and a touchdown in parts of five seasons. The one-year contract affords Tomlinson the opportunity to compete for a 53-man roster spot and provides some insurance for the Ravens offense as Boyle aims to be ready for the start of the 2021 season.

It’s no secret that offensive coordinator Greg Roman likes to feature tight ends, making it likely that general manager Eric DeCosta will continue exploring his options via free agency and the draft. The offseason depth chart now features 2019 Pro Bowl selection Mark Andrews, Boyle, versatile two-time Pro Bowl fullback Patrick Ricard, Tomlinson, and 2020 undrafted free agents Jake Breeland and Eli Wolf.

“We’ll look at personnel, we’ll look at free agency, we’ll look at the draft, and certainly, we’re very much a tight end-centric offense,” DeCosta said last month. “If there is a tight end there available in the draft or if somebody else happens to fall to us in free agency, we would certainly look at that as a possibility. We know that Greg can take those tight ends and really go to the lab and find some ways to use these guys to make us more productive on offense.”