The Ravens and Dennis Pitta continue to discuss a new contract and are “making progress” toward a deal, says Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). While no agreement is imminent, Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports 1 echoes Rapoport’s report of progress between the two sides, tweeting that there’s a chance the two sides work something out before March 3.
Because Pitta is a candidate for the franchise tag, March 3 represents an important deadline as the last day teams are permitted to designate franchise players. If the Ravens can’t lock up Pitta to a long-term pact, franchising him is somewhat risky — the 28-year-old will almost certainly file a grievance in the hopes of being franchised as a wide receiver instead of a tight end, which could significantly affect his potential one-year salary.
Still, Rapoport tweets that most rival teams don’t believe the Ravens will let Pitta get away this offseason, which suggests that talks are progressing well, considering a week ago one report indicated the two sides were “far apart” in negotiations. According to Rapoport and Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter), plenty of suitors would emerge if Pitta did become available on March 11. Clifton Brown of CSNBaltimore.com wrote earlier today that the Packers, Falcons, and Patriots would be candidates to pursue Pitta if he reaches the open market.