The Ravens have locked up tight end Dennis Pitta, with the team confirming an agreement on a five-year contract.
The contract is worth $32 million, according to league sources.
Pitta and the Ravens got the deal done before Monday's deadline to use the franchise tag. That would have potentially been a complicated situation for the Ravens if they had to designate Pitta as a franchise player, because of the financial difference between the $6.709 million tight end tag and an $11.5 million wide receiver tag.
A grievance was expected to be filed through the NFL Players Association if the Ravens had designated Pitta as a tight end, on the basis that he often lines up wide of the formation like a receiver.
Pitta missed most of 2013 due to a hip injury and he was sorely missed in the Ravens’ passing game. Upon his return, he saw 33 targets in four games, putting him on pace to finish with the 3rd-most targets in the league. It’s not a solid sample size, but it’s still an indicator of what may come. (For what it’s worth, he finished with the 12th-most targets in 2012.) The big plus for Pitta heading into 2014 is the arrival of new OC Gary Kubiak who has been very TE-friendly throughout his career, specifically with the development of both Shannon Sharpe in Denver and Owen Daniels in Houston.