The release came with an injury waiver.
Cutting Pitta, who signed a five-year, $32 million contract extension in 2014, saves the Ravens $2.5 million on the salary cap.
Last week during non-contact organized team activities, the 31-year-old tight end suffered his third severe hip injury. The team’s official website reported Pitta stretched to make a catch, fell to the ground and couldn’t put weight on his leg.
NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported the hip dislocation put Pitta’s career in jeopardy, but no long-term decision has been made.
The pass-catching tight end missed 41 games from 2013-2015 due to two previous hip injuries. Despite indications he could retire in 2015, Pitta bounced back last season to play in all 16 games and lead all tight ends in the NFL with 86 receptions. The latest hip injury could wind up ending his career after the remarkable comeback.
A fourth-round pick out of BYU in 2010, Pitta compiled 224 catches for 2,098 yards and 13 touchdowns for the Ravens.
With Pitta gone, the Ravens have veteran Benjamin Watson (coming off an Achilles injury), Crockett Gillmore, Nick Boyle, Maxx Williams and Darren Waller at tight end. Baltimore also signed rookie free agent tight end Barrett Burns, the team announced.
â Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo)
June 7, 2017
The small, but notable cap space gained by releasing Pitta could be used to add much-needed aid to the receiving corps. The Ravens are hosting veteran free agent Jeremy Maclin, Garafolo reported. Maclin, who visited the Bills the past two days, would provide a boost for a thin Ravens wideout group.