It was a very busy day for the Baltimore Ravens on Tuesday to say the least, as they traded Anquan Boldin and offered contracts to multiple free agents. The busiest position was at tight end, as the Ravens re-signed both Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson to one-year contracts. The contracts will be official when the NFL free agency period begins March 12 at 4 pm EST.
Pitta signed for just over $2 million, while Dickson signed for just over $1.3 million.
Dickson was the incumbent No. 1 tight end as this season started, as Dickson had more yards and touchdowns than Pitta in the 2011 season. However, Pitta took a stranglehold on the number one tight end job early in the season, as he severely outplayed Dickson.
Pitta has become a top-10 tight end, while Dickson took a huge step backward this season. Pitta reeled in seven touchdowns, while Dickson didn’t have a touchdown for the first time in his career.
However, in a league where many teams use two tight ends, the Ravens made the prudent decision to keep Dickson despite Pitta’s breakout season. With both tight ends entering their third season, there is still plenty of upside for the unit.
The re-signing of Pitta and Dickson comes the same day the Ravens dealt away Boldin to the San Francisco 49ers. Boldin led the Ravens in receiving in all three of his seasons, so his departure creates quite an opportunity for every Baltimore pass catcher. Having Pitta and Dickson both reaching their potential will be necessary with the current state of the Ravens’ receivers.
So on a day where the Ravens basically gave away their top receiver, they put their faith in Pitta and Dickson. If the money the Ravens saved on Boldin allows them to lock up other key free agents, the trade will be more justified. Either way, the Ravens will need big seasons from Pitta and Dickson to pick up the slack.
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