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Franchising Dennis Pitta could get tricky if Ravens choose to go that route

It could become more expensive, explains the Baltimore Sun's Aaron Wilson.

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

In an ideal scenario, the Ravens will be able to keep tight end Dennis Pitta on the 2014 roster with a long-term deal.

But it's possible the Baltimore tight end's demand will be too high in free agency, with the Ravens unable to afford a big contract at this time.

So the option of applying the franchise tag for the 2014 season could come into play for the Ravens' tight end.

But there's a catch, as the Baltimore Sun's Aaron Wilson notes in an article posted Thursday.

If Pitta is franchised at the rate for tight ends, he'd earn a $6.709 million tender. But how often has Pitta lined up at tight end in Baltimore's offense?

Pitta has primarily been used as a receiver, and general manager Ozzie Newsome even referred to Pitta as a "very productive receiver in this league" at the State of the Ravens press conference on Wednesday.

Therefore, if Pitta's representation wants to get more money out of a franchise tag, they could lobby the NFL for the Ravens to treat him as a receiver.

If that winds up being the case, and if the NFL ultimately were to conclude Pitta is a receiver, the franchise tender would be $11.539 million for 2014.

Of course, none of this happens if the Ravens reach an agreement with Pitta. Then it won't matter what position the Ravens claim he plays.