In probably the least surprising news today, Ravens' tight end Dennis Pitta will begin the season on the physically unable to perform list. That designation will cause him to miss at least the first 6 games of the season.
Per #Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, tight end Dennis Pitta WILL begin the season on the PUP list.— Brian Bower (@sportguyRSR) August 18, 2015
We had seen Pitta out on the field during OTAs earlier this offseason, running, jumping and catching the ball. However, without being cleared by a doctor for hitting, Pitta was unable to return to regular action this preseason.
The Ravens gave Dennis Pitta a fairly large contract right before his second hip injury with the hopes that he would get back to normal and be the same old player they had previously. The deal ended up being for 5 years, $32 million with a guaranteed amount of $16 million. This is the final year on his deal where his cap hit is less than the dead cap the Ravens would get if they cut him.
Brian McFarland notes that Pitta will be removed from the 90-man roster until he is eligible to come back, but that his $6.2 million cap hit will still count against the Ravens for the 2015 season.
By moving to Reserve/PUP, Pitta will be removed from 90-man roster, but will still fully count against Cap for season.— Brian McFarland (@RavensSalaryCap) August 18, 2015
With only 3 games under his belt last season before his injury, Spotrac gave Pitta a -3.13 valuation based on his performance against his cap hit. With Pitta out at least 6 games this season, that number is likely going to drop even further for 2015, marking the deal as a rare bad move by the Ravens.
The move to the PUP list should give you some hope as it signals that the Ravens feel like he could be ready in the middle of the season to return. As we noted before, he has been seen running around and could be cleared to play by a doctor, but I imagine we'll know more a few weeks into the season.