Could Ravens’ TE Pitta claim to be a WR if franchise tagged?
Baltimore Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta will be a free agent on March 11th if the Ravens choose not to franchise tag him. If they do decide to franchise tag him, he could earn either $6.7 million or $11.5 million.
The difference between the two numbers is his playing position. On paper, he’s listed as a tight end but according to the Baltimore Sun, he ran 79.7 percent of his total offensive snaps from the slot receiver position – which was the highest amount for qualifying tight ends.
The Ravens are in a difficult position. They need to know exactly how much it will cost before they can use it. There’s a difference of nearly $5 million between what a tight end will earn and a wide receiver. A similar situation is brewing in New Orleans as Saints’ tight end is expected to be tagged as a tight end, earning him less money for a position he rarely plays, like Pitta, Graham lines up as a slot receiver.
If the Saints do choose to franchise tag Graham as a tight end, Graham’s agent is expected to file a grievance with the NFL Player Association.
Pitta played only four games in the 2013 season after fracturing and dislocating his hip in the preseason. He caught 20 passes for 169 yards and a touchdown in those four games. He was a big part of the offense that helped win the Super Bowl in 2012 and the Ravens would attempt to retain him.