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Ravens, Dennis Pitta reach five-year contract agreement

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

Dennis Pitta came back late last season to play four games after offseason hip surgery.
Dennis Pitta came back late last season to play four games after offseason hip surgery. (USATSI)

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One of the biggest problems with the Ravens offense last year was the lack of a big third-down target in the passing game. With Dennis Pitta headed to free agency it threatened to be an issue in 2014 as well. But the Ravens fixed that on Friday, locking down the tight end to a five-year contract, CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reports.

La Canfora hears that the deal should average around $6.5 million per year.

On Thursday league sources told La Canfora that the two sides were "making progress" on a new deal in advance of the franchise-tag deadline on Monday.

Many people believed Pitta was on the verge of a breakout year in 2013 after catching 61 passes for 669 yards and seven touchdowns in 2012. But Pitta suffered a hip injury in July and appeared lost for the season.

The tight end managed to return early, though, and was activated in early December. Pitta played in four games total, catching 20 passes for 169 yards and a touchdown. That would've put him on pace for a better season than 2012 if he had been healthy for 16 games.

Baltimore's obviously banking on that being the case going forward with Pitta, having invested heavily in him for the immediate future.

Joe Flacco's a huge winner here. After a mammoth postseason that helped the Ravens win Super Bowl XLVII, Flacco struggled badly in 2013, primarily because he lost his top possession targets in Anquan Boldin (traded to the 49ers) and Pitta (injury).

The Ravens can now turn their attention to locking up tackle Eugene Monroe, acquired midseason from the Jaguars in a trade.

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