Thin on tight end depth after Dennis Pitta broke a bone in his right hand in Monday's practice, the Ravens today signed veteran Billy Bajema, who started 11 games for the St. Louis Rams last year.
Bajema, 29, is 6-5 and 260 pounds, and is considered more of a blocking tight end. When Pitta returns -- he's expected to miss four-to-six weeks after having surgery yesterday and team officials are optimistic he'll be back for the Sept. 10 regular-season opener -- Bajema should compete with veteran Davon Drew and undrafted rookie free agents Matt Balasavage (Temple) and Bruce Figgins (Georgia) for the No. 3 tight end role.
In seven NFL seasons, Bajema, a former seventh-round pick by the San Francisco 49ers in 2005, has 38 receptions for 398 yards and two touchdowns. In 16 games for the Rams last year, he caught nine balls for 71 yards.
His best season came in 2010 when he caught 14 balls for 145 yards and two touchdowns for St. Louis.
To make room for Bajema on the roster, the Ravens waived undrafted rookie free agent quarterback John Brantley (Florida). That leaves them with four quarterbacks on the roster: Joe Flacco, Tyrod Taylor, Curtis Painter and undrafted rookie free agent Chester Stewart (Temple).