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Pitta still hoping to return to field


Pitta still hoping to return to field

Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta said last week that he still hopes to resume his career after missing all of last season with his second major hip injury, but he remained vague about the prospects of doing so.

“There’s no timeline as far as when a decision is going to be made,” Pitta said as the Ravens cleared out their locker room last week. “We’ll give it some time this offseason, and I’ll certainly do some thinking and testing my body and hip, and we’ll see.”

If that sounds familiar, it's pretty much exactly what Pitta said last summer and fall as he tried to rehabilitate from his second dislocated hip.

“At this point, nothing has changed from when we last spoke,” he added. “I certainly have a desire to play and want to play and want to be a part of this team moving forward. But we’ll see how it plays out.”

Pitta, who signed a five-year, $32.5 million deal before the 2014 season, is due a base salary of $5 million next season and carries a $7.2 million cap figure for 2016. Those are huge numbers for someone who has played seven games in the past three years. He would appear to be a prime cap casualty, but the Ravens won't realize a ton of savings; there is $6.6 million in dead money to contend with if Pitta is let go, though they will realize some savings if he is deemed a post-June 1 cut.  That would allow the Ravens to transfer $4.4 million of that dead money to 2017; that dead money isn't going away, it just becomes a question of when that bill would be paid.

The Ravens clearly are a better team with a healthy Pitta, who had 61 catches for 669 yards and seven touchdowns during the Ravens 2012 Super Bowl season. But there is no guarantee -- or even likelihood -- that Pitta, who turns 31 in June, can return to the field after doctors essentially shut him down last season before he could ever come off the physically-unable-to-perform list.

The Ravens last year drafted two tight ends, Maxx Williams and Nick Boyle, an indication that they were prepared for life after Pitta. Those two showed promise this season as rookies, and with the emergence of Crockett Gillmore as the starter, the Ravens are well-stocked at tight end without Pitta.

Pitta acknowledged that he has had to wrestle with the prospect that his career is over, but isn't ready to declare that just yet.

"I feel good physically, and I feel like I could go out and run and all that," he said. "It’ll be about weighing the risks versus the rewards at this point. We’ll do some thinking over the next few months in the offseason, get with the doctors again and go from there.”

"At some point, we all move on from the game of football," he later added. "Hopefully, it’s not that soon for me, but if it is, I’ve certainly had to think about it and put some thought into it.”

RELATED: Ravens hope coaching staff continuity pays off 




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Ravens' Eric DCosta not ruling out taking a quarterback at No. 16

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Ravens' Eric DCosta not ruling out taking a quarterback at No. 16

And with the No. 16 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Baltimore Ravens select.... a quarterback?

Assistant general manager, and soon to be general manager, Eric DeCosta isn't ruling out the possibility that the Ravens use their first-round pick on drafting a quarterback to eventually replace Joe Flacco. 

"I feel like if there is a guy there that we think is really too good to pass up, we're going to take him," DeCosta told the team's website on the chance of draft a quarterback in the first-round. 

Quarterback is just one of many offensive needs for the team. Joe Flacco's stats have been trending downward as the 33-year old is entering his 11th season.


Owner Steve Bisciotti though may disagree with DeCosta.

At his annual State of the Ravens press conference, Bisciotti said, "That’s not really something that we’re worried about right now. We’ve got bigger fish to fry, I guess. I don’t consider that a big worry," in regards to looking at life after Joe. Bisciotti also noted the team would be looking at all options in free agency and the draft for weapons for their QB.

From the sound of that, it appears the team's first choice would be a wideout, but the Ravens haven't drafted a quarterback since Joe Flacco back in 2008. 

The 2018 NFL Draft class has a handful of strong quarterbacks to choose from and not a ton of first-round wide receivers. 

Former Ravens scout, Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com has predicted the team with take Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield in the first-round. 

"It basically depends on our evaluation and how we feel about the guy, what we think he can become as a player and what we think his upside is and if he's there," DeCosta said

Backup Ryan Mallet is a free agent so the organization will have to find someone to fill the role, whether it's someone on a one year-deal, or the future QB of the franchise. 


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Ravens sign Michael Crabtree to three-year deal

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Ravens sign Michael Crabtree to three-year deal

The Baltimore Ravens have signed wide receiver Michael Crabtree to a three-year deal on Friday according to general manager and executive vice president Ozzie Newsome.

The deal is apparently worth $21 million, according to Adam Schefter.

After being released by the Raiders on Thursday following the signing of Jordy Nelson, Crabtree heads to the Ravens less than 24 hours later.


The 31-year-old is coming off a 2017 season when he recorded 58 receptions for 618 yards and eight touchdowns. In 2016 he posted 89 receptions for 1,003 yards and eight touchdowns.

Since 2015, the Texas Tech product has scored 25 receiving touchdowns, the fifth-most in the NFL. Crabtree and Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown are the only NFL players to post at least eight touchdown catches in each of the past three seasons.


In all, Crabtree has played nine NFL seasons – six of them with San Francisco (2009-14) and three with Oakland (2015-17). The former first-round draft pick (10th overall, Texas Tech) has registered 579 receptions for 6,870 yards (11.9 avg.) and 51 touchdowns in 125 career games (122 starts).

“Michael has played very well against the Ravens, so we know firsthand the attributes he brings to the game,” Newsome said in a team statement. “He is a smart, tough, physical receiver who battles for the ball. We like his temperament and believe he is a good fit for our football team, on and off the field.”

Since he entered the NFL in 2009, Crabtree’s 51 receiving scores rank 10th among active wide receivers, while his receptions (579) are seventh, and his receiving yards (6,870) are 12th.