9:51am: Pitta is expected to remain with the Ravens, and the two sides should agree to a restructured contract soon, perhaps as early as today, sources tell Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link).
8:12am: After consulting with doctors this offseason, Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta has decided to continue his NFL career, according to Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports (via Twitter). There had been some uncertainty about whether Pitta, who has undergone multiple surgeries to address hip issues, would ever be able to get back on the field.
Back in February, Pitta said he “definitely” wanted to play again, but cautioned that he would rely heavily on the advice of medical professionals before making any final decision. The veteran tight end was advised by doctors last November that he could not take the field in the 2015 season. Although Pitta hoped to return anyway, Ravens officials and the coaching staff urged him to follow the advice of those doctors, to avoid risking re-injury.
Assuming Pitta is determined to see his comeback attempt through, it will be interesting to see how the Ravens handle the situation. The 30-year-old is owed a $5MM base salary this season and has an overall cap hit of $7.2MM. However, that salary is non-guaranteed, so Baltimore could create $5MM in cap savings by cutting him after June 1st.
Still, I suspect that the Ravens would prefer Pitta makes his comeback attempt in Baltimore rather than elsewhere, given that the team has observed first-hand the struggle he has gone through in recent years. So perhaps the two sides will be able to agree to reworked contract that significantly reduces that cap number and allows Pitta the opportunity to earn back some of the money via playing-time and/or performance incentives.
A former fourth-round pick, Pitta had his best season in 2012, when he set career-highs with 61 receptions, 669 yards, and seven touchdowns. He has not seen game action since September of 2014.
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