"Joe has communicated that through texts, and Torrey [Smith] has told me that they have a session planned and are trying to work out the dates," coach John Harbaugh said at the NFL owners meetings. "I'll be looking forward to seeing how it goes. It is important. It's big."
Flacco's receiving corps includes
The deal avoided a potential messy situation with the franchise tag, and now the Ravens have locked up one of Joe Flacco's favorite targets. Pitta returned last season from a fractured, dislocated right hip to play the final four games. He caught 20 passes for 169 yards and one touchdown.
Pitta, 28, has 122 career receptions for 1,244 yards and 11 touchdowns.
If the deal isn't reached by Monday, "the Ravens would buy time by tagging him," La Canfora wrote.
It is believed that if the Ravens can't sign Pitta to a long-term deal they would franchise him at the tight end level of $6.9 million. If they do that then it is believed that Pitta's reps would file a grievance arguing that Pitta should be tagged as a receiver since he plays more as a receiver than as a tight end. A receiver's franchise tender is at least $11.5 million.
Pitta had 20 catches for 169 yards and one touchdown last season, playing in only four games thanks to a preseason hip injury. In 2012 he had 61 catches for 669 yards and seven scores, establishing himself as Joe Flacco's go-to target.
The Ravens could use the franchise tag to hold onto Pitta, but that's a potentially risky move because it's unclear if it would cost $6.7 million under the tight end franchise designation or $11.5 million for a wide receiver franchise classification. Pitta is expected to file a grievance to get the receiver franchise tag figure if he's franchised, according to a source.
Harbaugh didn't rule out the possibility of Pitta not being franchised and hitting the open market in free agency on March 11.
"I think every scenario is possible here," Harbaugh said. "The franchise tag is very vague right now, so anything could happen."
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