The Dennis Pitta Situation


Dennis Pitta will always be remembered as a Super Bowl hero for the Ravens but it may be time for him to retire from professional football. The Ravens gave Pitta a 5 year contract worth $32 million and $16 million guaranteed.

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Hindsight is always 20/20 but the contract extension has proven to be a mistake. Early in the 2013 Pitta fractured his hip. Because he was such an important player on the Super Bowl run and he was going to be a free agent, the Ravens made a rash longterm commitment to their tight end. It was a rare move by the Ravens, where emotions trumped caution.

Early into the next season, Pitta suffers the same season ending injury. He has not played a down since that second injury. While the Ravens have moved on at the tight end position they have dead money going to Pitta.

It is time for Pitta to retire. After twice fracturing his hip, it is time to think about life after football. His body cannot take the brutality of the game, and Ravens fans cannot endure him going through another heartbreaking injury. The NFL should stand for not for long because to often this happens to a promising career.

Pitta had a great run with the Ravens as short-lived as it was. He developed a chemistry and a friendship with Joe Flacco that was reminiscent of the connection between Johnny Unitas and receiver, Raymond Berry. Pitta was a fan favorite. There won’t be a bad memory from his career before the injuries.

Pitta made a huge catch in the 2012 playoff game against Denver. Backed up near the Ravens own end zone, Flacco made a back shoulder throw to Pitta. He threw it where only Pitta could grab it. The catch was a testament to their chemistry and Pitta’s ability to come up in the clutch. Without that play the “Mile High Miracle” may never have occurred.

The Ravens now have invested three draft picks in two seasons at the tight end position. Crockett Gillmore and Maxx Williams are promising pass catchers. Nick Boyle is a tough tight end who has worked into the offense as more than just a blocker. If Pitta did comeback he would have an awful lot of competition.

The best thing for both sides is for Pitta to retire. Maybe Pitta coaches or does television; maybe he relaxes and enjoys time with his family. Whatever he does it doesn’t look like he’ll be playing football. Pitta was special and his career should be cherished. We may not have reached the point of no return, but we surely have reached the point where it makes no sense for him to do so.