If it wasn’t for Jimmy Graham of the New Orleans Saints, Dennis Pitta would be a hot commodity heading into the offseason. However, Graham’s impending free agency has dominated the headlines, while Pitta’s name has hardly been mentioned as one of the play-makers expected to be in the 2014 free agent class. Sure, Pitta’s statistics don’t hold a candle to Graham’s, but that doesn’t mean the Baltimore Ravens are just going to get Pitta for dirt cheap.
In fact, many NFL fans think that a franchise tag might be in place for the Ravens’ tight end. However, the process isn’t that simple. Because Pitta spends so much time as a wide receiver, his franchise tag would likely be calculated differently than that of the average tight end. Therefore, the Ravens could wind up paying a one-year contract worth up to $11.54 million, which is the current franchise tag rate for wide receivers.
The question lost in all of these contractual talks is if Baltimore really needs Pitta on its roster? Did the Ravens’ offense really change that much with Pitta in the fold? No. And while the fans might adoree Pitta for his Super Bowl XLVII heroics, he’s not worth the $10 million a year that is now attached to his name. A long-term deal for Pitta makes much more sense considering the 28-year-old is coming off a down year and would likely accept a multi-year deal that wouldn’t exactly break the Ravens’ bank.
Moreover, the NFL offseason is incredibly young, but it’s already clear that the Ravens would be foolish to place a franchise tag on Pitta in 2014.