Ravens may use the franchise tag on Dennis Pitta

The Baltimore Ravens are facing the possibility of losing TE Dennis Pitta to free agency. The Ravens don’t have many consistent receiving options which could lead to them franchising Pitta.

The Ravens have shown a willingness to use the franchise tag, which essentially binds an unrestricted free agent to the team for at least one more year on a set salary. They’ve used it seven times in team history, most recently with running back Ray Rice (2012) and nose tackle Haloti Ngata (2011). In all but one of those instances, the designated franchise player has ultimately agreed to a long-term deal to stay with the team.
Obviously, that’s the hope with Pitta, whose importance to the offense and to quarterback Joe Flacco was never more evident than it was this season when the tight end missed the first 12 games after sustaining a dislocated and fractured right hip. Pitta returned and caught 20 passes for 169 yards and a touchdown in four games, and was targeted 33 times by Flacco.-TheBaltimoreSun.com

If the Raven’s decided to franchise Pitta he would make the average of the top 5 players at his position, which would put him in the $6.7 million range. That is a lot of money for a TE recovering from an injury who wasn’t a top 5 TE to begin with.