The fifth-round draft pick from East Carolina became the first of the Ravens’ six draft picks to agree to terms, receiving a $139,250 signing bonus.
"When you get it done early, you have more time to focus on football and that’s what I was trying to do by just getting it out of the way," Drew said in a telephone interview. "I wasn’t looking at the negotiations like they were going to be extreme. I’m a fifth-round pick. I just wanted the signing bonus to be correct. It wasn’t too much of an issue. It’s good to get it done."
Drew received minimum base salaries of $310,000 this season, $395,000 in 2010 and $480,000 in 2011, according to NFL Players Association figures.
His agent, Ron Del Duca, was at the Ravens’ training complex earlier this week to negotiate with Ravens vice president of football administration Pat Moriarty.
Drew is projected to operate as a reserve behind Todd Heap (lower back) and L.J. Smith (sports hernia), but has received increased playing time because of the veterans’ respective injuries.
"I’m just out here trying to learn," Drew said. "You don’t wish injuries on anybody, but I’m trying to take advantage of the situation. The guys I’m behind are a great group of guys to learn from. It’s a great situation."
Drafted 149th overall, Drew began his career at East Carolina as a quarterback before reluctantly moving to tight end as a sophomore.
The 6-foot-4, 260-pounder developed into a two-time All-Conference USA tight end, catching 43 passes last season for 695 yards as a senior.
Team officials are confident that Drew will eventually gain more weight and are excited about his athletic ability, size and hands.
Meanwhile, the Ravens have begun preliminary discussions with first-round offensive tackle Michael Oher’s agent, Jimmy Sexton. Typically, first-round picks don’t sign until it gets close to training camp.
The Ravens’ rookies, quarterbacks and selected veterans are scheduled to report to McDaniel College on July 27.
"I want to play so bad," Oher recently told the 24×7. "I’m going to do everything in my power to get to camp on time."
Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.