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With Pitta out, Ravens sign veteran TE Shiancoe

OWINGS MILLS - The Ravens didn't waste much time addressing the tight end position in the wake of Dennis Pitta's season-ending hip injury, signing veteran Visanthe Shiancoe to a one-year contract Sunday.
The 33-year old Shiancoe played in just four games with the New England Patriots last year, but he's otherwise been a semi-productive starter in the NFL for most of the last decade.
Shiancoe, who grew up in Bowie and played collegiately at Morgan State in Baltimore, had 181 catches for 2,101 yards and 23 touchdowns over a four-year span with the Minnesota Vikings from 2008-11.
His best statistical season was in 2009, when he had 56 catches for 566 yards and 11 touchdowns.
"We're very excited to have him here," Baltimore coach John Harbaugh said. "We played against him a number of times. ... [He's] a real talented pass-receiving tight end. [He's] a good, tough blocker. You can see he's in great shape.
"One of the things that we were really impressed about him is how fit he was. He blew away the conditioning test, and he blew away his workout. He looks really good."
Coincidentally, the Ravens were considering signing Shiancoe even before Pitta got injured.
Shiancoe watched practice Friday with Baltimore general manager Ozzie Newsome.
"I spent the whole day here," Shiancoe said. "I think that was Friday. We have a mutual respect for each other, and ... I know we are ready to work."
Ed Dickson will take over as the Ravens' top tight end with Pitta out, but Shiancoe could still see significant playing time considering how much Baltimore likes to use two-tight-end sets.
"That [Pitta's injury] is unfortunate," Shiancoe said. "But it's almost just like the next guy has to step up."

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