The surprising return of injury prone tight end Dennis Pitta in 2016 may or may not help the Ravens this season. Despite his announced intention, there are still many questions for Joe Flacco's best friend.
Can he stay healthy? Even if he does, will he perform on the same level as in 2012?
Will he still be a Raven in 2016, or will the team cut him post May 12 if he doesn't take a pay cut?
These are the biggest questions for Pitta, who has only played a handful of games since the Ravens won the Lombardi in 2012, and even for those he was not particularly productive returning from injury. The Ravens have loaded up at the tight end position over the past 12 months, adding Maxx Williams and Nick Boyle, currently suspended in the 2015 draft and signing Ben Watson last month. In addition, the Ravens have ascending Crockett Gillmore at the position, and entering his third year in the NFL.
With all the investment by the Ravens at the position, will they hang onto Pitta, who still needs to show he can stay healthy? Or will they stay the course and cut him after May 12, splitting his cap hit between this season and next, and let him find a new home, assuming he will not rework his deal?
It should be interesting to see what Ozzie Newsome and the front office choose to do. Pitta would be a boost to a receiving group which already features many question marks, including the health of Steve Smith and Breshad Perriman, whether Mike Wallace can bounce back, and whether Kamar Aiken can maintain his success from 2015. If Pitta does stick around, his health would be the main question, but surely the team would welcome back his reliable hands on third downs, and his slot ability.