Dennis Pitta

This Date In Transactions History: Baltimore Ravens

The 2010 draft didn’t necessarily go as planned for the Ravens. They sent their first-rounder to the Broncos (Denver selected Tim Tebow), and their pair of second-rounders failed to live up to their billing. Linebacker Sergio Kindle played in only three career games, while defensive tackle Terrence Cody mostly played in a reserve role.

The team did manage to snag tight end Ed Dickson in the third round, but nobody would deem the first half of Baltimore’s draft a success. However, the team did manage to draft a pair of contributors in the later rounds: tight end Dennis Pitta and defensive end Arthur Jones. Both of those players inked their rookie contracts on this date eight years ago.

The Ravens used their fourth-round pick (#114) on Pitta, a tight end out of Brigham Young. He ended up playing his entire seven-year career in Baltimore, winning a championship along the way. His best season came in 2012, when he hauled in 61 catches for 669 yards and seven touchdowns, and his 2,098 career receiving yards rank 12th in franchise history. Unfortunately, Pitta suffered a number of injuries throughout his career, forcing him to miss 46 regular season games. After suffering a hip injury during last year’s OTAs, the Ravens ended up cutting the veteran, effectively ending his career.

Jones, who was selected with the team’s second fifth-rounder, mostly served in a reserve role for the Ravens during the first three years of his career, including their Super Bowl run in 2012 (the defensive end finished with a key sack and fumble recovery in the victory). He took on a bigger role in 2013, finishing with 53 tackles and four sacks. He ended up inking a lucrative five-year deal with the Colts worth more than $30MM, but he never managed to stay healthy during his tenure in Indy. The 32-year-old played in a single game for the Redskins this past season.

While no one would ever declare the Ravens 2010 draft as a “win” (the team also drafted wideout David Reed and offensive tackle Ramon Harewood), their pair of later-round picks ended up having solid NFL careers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

North Notes: Browns, Ravens, Lions, Vikings

Browns edge rusher Myles Garrett, the first pick in this year’s draft, suffered a left foot injury Wednesday that left him in “obvious pain,” reports Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland. A day later, Garrett sat out practice as team doctors evaluated his foot, a club spokesman announced. The Browns won’t provide further details on Garrett’s ailment, per Cabot, who relays that the injury likely isn’t serious. Meanwhile, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that Garrett should be “fine.” Foot issues are nothing new for Garrett, who dealt with soreness throughout organized team activities and battled a high ankle sprain during his final year at Texas A&M last season. Fortunately, though, it looks as if he and the Browns will escape relatively unscathed in this instance.

More from the NFL’s North divisions:

  • Unsurprisingly, it appears injured tight end Dennis Pitta‘s release from the Ravens last week will bring an end to his career. When speaking with reporters Thursday, Pitta didn’t announce his retirement, but he conceded, “I’m not delusional” (Twitter link via Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun). Hip problems limited Pitta to seven games from 2013-15, but he returned last season to post a 16-game campaign and catch a team-high 86 passes. The soon-to-be 32-year-old suffered a hip dislocation earlier this month, though, leading the Ravens to cut ties after seven seasons.
  • In his first meeting with the Detroit media on Thursday, newly acquired Lions offensive tackle Greg Robinson called the trade that sent him from Los Angeles to the Motor City “a big surprise,” per Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. Robinson busted with the Rams, who selected him second overall in 2014, and acknowledged that things “haven’t really went the way I would like” to this point. The 24-year-old expects to jump-start his career in Detroit, however. “I plan on benefiting from (my fresh start) tremendously,” Robinson declared. “It’s really refreshing and I plan to make the most out of it.”
  • Browns quarterback Brock Osweiler has been “very happy” with his performance this spring, and the ex-Texan explained Wednesday why his play has improved from his disastrous 2016 in Houston. “The best part is I’m getting coached hard on my fundamentals,” Osweiler said, via Nate Ulrich of Ohio.com. “And I believe firmly that when your fundamentals and your feet are right as a quarterback, you’re going to make great decisions and you’re going to throw accurate footballs.” Osweiler added that his “fundamentals slid” last year, but he declined “to go into great detail” on why. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk interprets Osweiler’s remarks as a shot at the Texans’ coaching staff, particularly Bill O’Brien, who didn’t get along well with the signal-caller last season.
  • Defensive back Lardarius Webb experienced a “tepid market” during his month of unemployment before re-signing with the Ravens in May, as Zrebiec details. The only club known to have expressed interest in the 31-year-old Webb was the Vikings, although Baltimore reportedly had interest in bringing Webb back almost instantly after releasing him. The Ravens saved $5.5MM in cap space by originally cutting ties with Webb, who has since inked a new three-year deal worth $6.3MM (with another $1.4MM available annually via incentives).
  • Vikings special teams coordinator Mike Priefer indicated Wednesday that both kicker Kai Forbath and punter Ryan Quigley will have to fight for their jobs this summer, telling reporters that “there’s an open competition” at both spots (via Mark Craig of the Star Tribune). Forbath, whom the Vikings signed last November after releasing Blair Walsh, made all 15 of his field goal attempts with Minnesota in 2016 but will battle second-year man Marshall Koehn to stay with the club. “He’s got the stronger leg,” Priefer said of Koehn. “This kid is coming on strong. It’s a great competition.” Quigley, an April signing, will try to fend off another second-year player, Taylor Symmank, after averaging a career-worst 41.6 yards per punt on 34 attempts with the Cardinals last season.

Dallas Robinson contributed to this post.

AFC Notes: Steelers, Fins, Ravens, Bills

The Steelers would like to sign contract-year defensive end Stephon Tuitt to an extension before the start of the regular season, reports Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The 24-year-old is clearly open to a new deal with the Steelers, telling Fittipaldo: “I would love it here. It’s a blessing if they see me being here for the long term. I love the organization.” Locking up Tuitt could cost the Steelers $8MM to $9MM per year, and it probably won’t become a priority until later in the summer, writes Fittipaldo. Tuitt, a second-round pick in 2014, started 14 games in each of the past two seasons and combined for 10.5 sacks in those 28 contests. He also impressed Pro Football Focus last season, receiving its 19th-best grade among 127 qualified interior defensive linemen.

More from the AFC:

  • With the Dolphins having exercised his fifth-year option for 2018, right tackle Ja’Wuan James said Wednesday that “it’s good to know that I’m secure in the aspect of being here.” However, as Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald points out, the $9.431MM option is only guaranteed for injury, meaning James isn’t a lock to be on the team in 2018. James is actually at risk of ending up on the chopping block next offseason if he doesn’t rebound from what the team believes was a “frustratingly unspectacular” 2016, according to Salguero. James has started all 39 of his appearances since going 19th overall in 2014, and is coming off a 16-game season in which he graded as PFF‘s 32nd-best bookend. But the Dolphins are going to want more out of him if he’s going to stick around in 2018 at a high cost, per Salguero.
  • The Ravens will have to revise wide receiver Eric Decker‘s contract if their trade talks with the Jets lead to a deal, notes Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link). Decker has two years and nearly $15MM left on his contract, including an $8.75MM cap hit for 2017. The Ravens only have $5MM-plus in spending room at the moment.
  • Thanks to the injury waiver he previously signed, tight end Dennis Pitta will receive no additional compensation following his release from the Ravens, Mike Florio of PFT writes. Typically, when a player gets injured during offseason practices, he gets paid until healthy or receives his entire salary if he’s out for the year. However, Pitta’s waiver cleared the Ravens of financial responsibility in the event of another hip injury. The tight end has dislocated his hip multiple times in recent years.
  • Bills running back Jonathan Williams was arrested in Arkansas last July on a DUI charge, but the 23-year-old was found not guilty on Thursday, according to Mike Rodak of ESPN.com. Assuming Williams dodges a suspension from the league, he’ll be in line to open the season as the Bills’ backup to LeSean McCoy. Mike Gillislee thrived in that role last season, but Buffalo lost him to the AFC East rival Patriots as a restricted free agent.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Ravens Release TE Dennis Pitta

The Ravens have formally released tight end Dennis Pitta, according to a team announcement. Pitta’s career could be over after he suffered yet another hip dislocation. Dennis Pitta (vertical)

[RELATED: Ravens TE Dennis Pitta Has Dislocated Hip]

The move will free up roughly $2MM in cap room for Baltimore, money that could be directed towards landing another pass-catcher. The Ravens could have free agent wide receiver Jeremy Maclin in their sights and that extra space could be a difference maker.

For several years, Pitta has been dealing with painful hip issues that have kept him off the field. The tight end was limited to just seven games between 2013 and 2015, but he became a focal point of Baltimore’s offense once again in 2016 as he caught 86 passes for 729 yards and two scores. Ever the team player, he even accepted a pay cut for the second straight time this offseason. He’ll be free to pursue other opportunities now, but it doesn’t sound like he’ll be able to suit up again.

The Ravens also signed rookie free agent tight end Barrett Burns in a related move.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ravens TE Dennis Pitta Has Dislocated Hip

As had been the fear, Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta has once again dislocated his hip, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (Twitter link). Pitta will likely undergo surgery at some point, tweets Adam Schefter of ESPN.com.Dennis Pitta

When news initially broke of Pitta’s injury earlier today, Schefter reported that if Pitta had indeed dislocated his hip for the third time in four years, the veteran tight end’s career was likely finished. Now that the severity of the injury has been identified, it’s unclear if Pitta will make a quick decision regarding his playing status, or perhaps take some (deserved) time to evaluate his future.

Pitta, 32 this month, led all tight ends in receptions last season, while he also posted a career-high in receiving yards. Having agreed to a paycut earlier this year, Pittta is now slated to carry $5.2MM cap numbers in each of the next two seasons.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ravens TE Dennis Pitta Suffers Hip Injury

Awful news for Dennis Pitta. The Ravens tight end suffered yet another hip injury during practice on Friday, GM Ozzie Newsome announced. Dennis Pitta

[RELATED: Tavon Young Suffers Torn ACL]

This is incredibly disappointing, obviously for Dennis, and for the Ravens,” Newsome said in the statement. “Dennis is one of the great Ravens, and he has done everything he can to make our team better.”

The severity of Pitta’s hip injury has not been officially disclosed, but this is crushing news for Pitta, the team, and the tight end’s supporters. The fear is that Pitta fractured and dislocated his hip for third time in four years, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. If that’s the case, then his NFL career is likely finished.

For approximately four years now, Pitta has been dealing with painful hip issues that have kept him off the field. Last year, Pitta bounced back in a major way and became one of the league’s greatest comeback stories.

In 2016, Pitta set career-highs in receptions (86) and receiving yards (729) while adding a pair of touchdowns. It was especially remarkable when considering that Pitta was limited to just seven games between 2013 and 2015.

Pitta, 32 in June, was originally set to carry a hefty $7.7MM cap number in 2017 and 2018. Now, per the terms of his recently restructured pact, he’s slated to carry $5.2MM cap numbers in each of the next two seasons.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Details On Dennis Pitta’s New Ravens Deal

Earlier this month, Dennis Pitta agreed to a reworked deal that will allow him to remain in Baltimore. Today, we got the specifics on the tight end’s new contract. Dennis Pitta

Pitta, 32 in June, was set to carry a hefty $7.7MM cap number in 2017 and 2018. Now, his restructured pact calls for him to carry $5.2MM cap numbers in both years, Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun tweets. He’ll get a base salary of $2.5MM in 2017 with a $500K roster bonus and $3MM in 2018.

This marks the second straight year that Pitta has agreed to rework his contract. Last year, the tight end restructured his deal and slashed his base salary from $5MM to $1MM. However, after turning in a stellar season, he earned another $3MM in incentives and nearly balanced it all out. In 2016, Pitta set career-highs in receptions (86) and receiving yards (729) while adding a pair of touchdowns. It was especially remarkable when considering that hip issues limited Pitta to just seven games between 2013 and 2015.

The Ravens have some pruning to do at tight end with Pitta, Ben WatsonMaxx WilliamsCrockett Gillmore, Nick Boyle, and Darren Waller all under contract.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ravens, Dennis Pitta Restructure Deal

Dennis Pitta will be sticking around Baltimore. NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo tweets that the veteran tight end has restructured his deal with the Ravens. We learned earlier this week that the organization had approached Pitta about taking a pay cut.

Dennis PittaPitta, 32 in June, was set to carry a hefty $5.5MM cap number in 2017. Last offseason, the tight end had restructured his deal, cutting his salary from $5MM to $1MM (he ultimately earned another $3MM in incentives).

The seven-year veteran had the best season of his career in 2016. He set career-highs in receptions (86) and receiving yards (729), and he hauled in a pair of touchdowns. The former fourth-rounder has spent his entire career in Baltimore, playing in 66 career games. Between 2013 and 2015, the veteran only took the field for seven contests.

It’s uncertain if the Ravens would have cut Pitta had they not agreed to an extension. The team is loaded at tight end with a depth chart that also features Ben WatsonMaxx WilliamsCrockett Gillmore, Nick Boyle, and Darren Waller.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ravens Ask Dennis Pitta To Take Pay Cut

In an effort to open up cap space, the Ravens have asked tight end Dennis Pitta to take a pay cut, Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun (on Twitter). Pitta has yet to agree to anything in that respect and there is nothing imminent on that front, he adds. Dennis Pitta

[RELATED: PFR’s Top 15 Free Agent Tight Ends]

Pitta, 32 in June, is slated to carry a $5.5MM cap number in 2017. It remains to be seen whether he’ll accept a hair cut here, particularly since he already did that last year. Prior to the 2016 season, Pitta agreed to trim his salary from $5MM to $1MM, though the team added $3MM in incentives which Pitta managed to secure.

Last year, Pitta had a career season, hauling in 86 receptions for 729 yards and two touchdowns. Coming off of that performance, Pitta might be inclined to explore his value on the open market, but he is fond of Baltimore and he might not get much in the way of guarantees given his age and history of hip problems.

Pitta has two more seasons to go on his five-year, $32MM contract.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ravens May Release TE Dennis Pitta

Last season, Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta made a remarkable comeback and turned in his first full season since 2012. Even though he hauled in a career-high 86 catches, the Ravens could cut him loose rather than pay him $5.5MM in 2017, sources tell Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). Dennis Pitta

In theory, the two sides could work a restructured deal, but that’s a concession Pitta already made one year ago. Under the terms of his reworked contract, Pitta’s salary was cut from $5MM to $1MM, but the Ravens added $3MM in incentives to help bridge the gap. When he turned in his best season to date, Pitta maxed out his potential earnings by recording more than 60 catches and appearing in at least 50% of the team’s snaps. It’s not clear whether the two sides have discussed altering Pitta’s deal again or if the veteran would be open to an adjustment.

Pitta signed a five-year, $32MM contract with the Ravens in February of 2014, a gutsy move considering that he missed most of 2013 with hip issues. Years later, Pitta is healthy and producing again, but his price tag could be too rich for the Ravens’ blood.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.