If given franchise tag, Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta could claim to be receiver
Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta will make either $6.7 million next season or $11.5 million if Baltimore uses its franchise tag on him.
The difference is whether Pitta will be considered a tight end or a wide receiver, according to Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun.
Pitta, 28, ran 79.7 percent of his passing routes from the slot receiver position last season, which was the highest rate among qualifying tight ends, Zrebiec reported via Pro Football Focus.
It’s widely assumed the agent for Saints tight end Jimmy Graham will file a grievance through the NFL Players Association claiming the same thing, Zrebiec reports. An arbitrator would then decide the case.
When given the franchise tag, players are paid the average of the top-5 paid players at their respective position. Teams can place the franchise tag on players beginning Monday.
“The whole grievance aspect would scare me,” said former NFL agent Joel Corry, who analyzes contracts and the salary cap for National Football Post. “You never know what’s going to be persuasive with the arbitrator. The team could think they’re on solid ground but the arbitrator might look at it differently. I wouldn’t want to take my chances on that decision. You really want to get that thing done, get [Pitta] on a long-term deal. That’s the safest course of action.”
Pitta played only four games last season after fracturing and dislocating his right hip in the preseason, but he returned to catch 20 passes for 169 yards and a touchdown on 33 targets.
Graham caught 86 passes for 1,215 yards and led the league with 16 receiving touchdowns.