By Aaron Wilson
The Baltimore Sun
10:25 AM EDT, March 15, 2013
As a restricted free agent, Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta was tendered at a cost of $2.023 million prior to the start of free agency.
With Pitta getting the second-round tender, the former fourth-round draft pick has been the subject of preliminary inquiries from NFL teams that are interested in him, according to league sources with knowledge of the situation.
The Ravens are in a tight salary-cap situation, especially since wide receiver Anquan Boldin's $6 million base salary and $7.531 million salary-cap figure remains on the books until he takes and passes a physical to complete his trade to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for a sixth-round draft pick.
Because Pitta wasn't assigned a first-round tender of $2.879 million, the Ravens are slightly vulnerable should another team submit an offer sheet. They own the right of first refusal to match any offer sheet. If they didn't opt to match, and no one has submitted an offer at this time, they would be compensated with a second-round draft pick.
The restricted free agent market is notoriously dead, but NFL teams do have a high opinion of Pitta.
It's unclear if the interest of teams will translate into any action regarding Pitta, though.
Pitta emerged as one of quarterback Joe Flacco's favorite targets last season, catching 61 passes for 669 yards and seven touchdowns last year. The former BYU standout added 19 more receptions in the playoffs for 163 yards and three touchdowns, including a score in the Super Bowl.
The Ravens did two other restricted tenders: a second-round tender for defensive tackle Arthur Jones and an original round tender on tight end Ed Dickson for $1.323 million.
They didn't tender their other restricted free agents, instead signing them to contracts. Long snapper Morgan Cox got a two-year, $1.61 million deal, wide receiver David Reed got a two-year deal with a maximum value of $2.5 million and offensive lineman Ramon Harewood did a one-year, $800,000 contract.