It looks like Joe Flacco will keep throwing to one of his favorite targets. Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta signed his restricted free agent tender, keeping him teamed up with Flacco for the 2013 season.
Last year was a true emergence for the fourth-year pro. Pitta hauled in 61 passes for almost 700 yards and seven touchdowns. In the playoffs, Pitta kept up his part of the Ravens offense, receiving for 163 yards and three additional touchdowns, including a TD grab in the Ravens 34-31 Super Bowl win over San Francisco.
Pitta's second round tender is worth $2.023 million, and the tight end can now join the Ravens for offseason workouts.
With Pitta back in the fold, most of the Ravens offense will remain in tact, with the obvious exception of traded wide receiver Anquan Boldin. The departed Boldin made many clutch plays for the Ravens in the Super Bowl run, and most expect an expanded role for Pitta in Boldin's absence.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh must be happy to have Pitta return, especially considering the loss of future Hall of Famers Ray Lewis and Ed Reed from the defensive side along with the departure of Paul Kruger, Dannell Ellerbe and Bernad Pollard. As for Flacco, he will get to keep his golf partner, and a safety valve in the passing game, in Pitta.