Tight end Benjamin Watson has reached an agreement in principle with the Ravens, an NFL source has confirmed. Watson will sign the deal Wednesday after the start of free agency. The 12-year veteran is coming off a career year with the Saints -- 74 catches for 825 yards and six touchdowns.
The Ravens will count on Watson’s experience to solidify the tight end position, which has become more uncertain season the season ended. Last year’s starter, Crockett Gillmore, is recovering from surgery on both shoulders and may not be ready by the start of training camp. Second-year tight end Nick Boyle has been suspended for the first 10 games of next season for violating the NFL's performance enhancing drug policy for the second time.
That leaves second-year tight end Maxx Williams and Watson as the top tight ends on the roster at the moment. The Ravens like using two tight-end sets, and Watson’s experience should allow him to adjust quickly to offensive coordinator Marc Trestman’s system.
The addition of Watson is another indication that veteran tight end Dennis Pitta may be unable to make an NFL comeback. Pitta has suffered two major hip injuries, putting his NFL future in doubt after missing all of last season. Pitta could be a post-June 1 roster cut.
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