Ravens making progress on new contract for Dennis Pitta

The timing of a deal with Dennis Pitta could be linked to issues with his franchise tag. (USATSI)
The timing of a deal with Dennis Pitta could be linked to issues with his franchise tag. (USATSI)

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The Ravens are making progress on a new deal with tight end Dennis Pitta, but remain far apart with left tackle Eugene Monroe, according to league sources.

Pitta is older and coming off injury issues, and with complications arising as to whether he is a tight end or receiver with regards to franchise tags the Ravens would prefer to sign him now. The sides are making progress and a deal could be done by Monday's deadline to franchise players.

If it's not done the Ravens would buy time by tagging him. Pitta would join Jimmy Graham, if unsigned, as franchise players in an NFLPA arbitration case arguing they should be compensated as receivers and not tight ends. In the meantime, the sides could continue to negotiate and there is a sense this could be resolved prior to any ruling being handed down.

Monroe is the other priority for the Ravens, who acquired him midseason to fill a gaping hole on the roster. With right tackle Michael Oher headed to the open market, Monroe is a key negotiation.

The sides were not close when exchanging figures at the NFL combine and they continue to talk. Given the dearth of veteran tackles, Monroe would likely fare well on the open market, and the Ravens will continue attempts to land him prior to March 11, when free agency officially begins.

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Before joining CBS Sports, Jason La Canfora was the Washington Redskins beat writer for The Washington Post for six years and served as NFL Network's insider. The Baltimore native can be seen every Sunday... Full Bio

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