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Dennis Pitta ranked 19th on Ravens' top 20 players of 2015

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Needless to say that when healthy, Pitta is something that his quarterback and team likes to see on the field. However, health has been a major factor for Pitta over the last few seasons.

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Tight end Dennis Pitta is a force to be reckoned with when healthy. The tight end has been a major outlet valve for quarterback Joe Flacco and is one of Flacco's best friends. Needless to say that when healthy, Pitta is something that his quarterback and team likes to see on the field.

ESPN is continuing their countdown of the top 20 Ravens for 2015, including Pitta at number 19 on this list.

However, health has been a major factor for Pitta over the last few seasons. 2013 saw Pitta go down with the first of two eventual hip injuries. Only able to play in 4 games, Pitta was severely limited even when healthy enough to suit up, only able to notch 20 receptions and 169 yards. 2014 was the return and expected rise of Pitta back to one of the top tight ends in football, but ultimately ended after 3 games and yet another hip injury.

2015 will be an interesting year for Pitta mainly because if he is unable or unwilling to return 100% this season, the Ravens could opt to let him go at the end of it all. In 2016 Pitta stands to count as $7.2 million against the cap while only having a dead cap number of $6.6 million. While not a major dent in the cap pool if cut, if his continued health is a concern at the end of this season, it will save the Ravens a significant amount over the last 2 years on his contract ($16 million total would be saved).

It appears that the Ravens might be looking to do it regardless as they have stockpiled tight ends over the last 2 seasons through the draft. Newcomers Maxx Williams and Nick Boyle add to Crockett Gillmore to make 3 healthy tight ends that each have their own specialty and niche in this offense. If Pitta is able to return, someone is going to be the odd man out and that could be the guy with the highest contract.

With the health and the contract issue hanging over Pitta's head, I wonder if he deserves a place on this list. We've covered Pitta ad nauseam so far this offseason, so you all know the reasons here, but the Ravens are a stacked roster with players having a definitive spot and role this season. It seems like a waste to have Pitta ranked at all when he is a giant question mark for 2015. If Pitta were to be healthy from week 1 of the regular season and be good for the remainder of the year, he would unquestionably earn a top 5 ranking on this list.

What do you think of Pitta's place on this list? Who would you rather have in this spot instead?