Although tight end Ed Dickson acknowledged that his chances of returning as an unrestricted free agent is probably a long shot, he made a sales pitch for the Ravens to do everything they can to hold onto free agent tight end Dennis Pitta.
Pitta caught 20 passes for 169 yards and one touchdown from quarterback Joe Flacco in four games since returning from a hip injury.
"No. 5 [Flacco] and No. 88 [Pitta] have a connection," Dickson said. "It's like that John Stockton and [Karl] Malone connection. I'm not saying that's the only thing you need, but you've got to keep that alive. I'm proud of the way he battled back from injury. He's a great tight end and he will be great for years to come."
Pro Bowl offensive guard Marshal Yanda had rotator cuff surgery last offseason, but started every game this season. "I was 100 percent," Yanda said. "This is the healthiest I've been in three years." … The Ravens signed eight members of their practice squad to reserve-future deals. That includes former Maryland tight end Matt Furstenburg, who finished the season on the practice-squad injured list after undergoing surgery for a sports hernia. "I feel good," Furstenburg said. "I should be back in a few weeks." The Ravens also signed wide receiver Kamar Aiken, defensive tackle Cody Larsen, offensive tackle David Mims, tight end Nathan Overbay, wide receiver Gerrard Sheppard (Towson, McDonogh), quarterback Nick Stephens and center Reggie Stephens.