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Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens 'far apart' on new deal?

Gregg Rosenthal wrote Sunday that Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta was a likely candidate to be slapped with Baltimore's franchise tag.

That's a strong bet after The Baltimore Sun's Aaron Wilson reported Monday that Pitta and the team are "far apart" on numbers, according to sources. Unless the sides can strike an agreement before the March 3 franchise-tag deadline, the fifth-year pass-catcher is the organization's top candidate for the tag, Wilson was told.

The front office also attempted to lower the $16 million salary cap hit of Pro Bowl nose tackle Haloti Ngata, per the report. No luck there, but the Ravens did shave more than $4 million off the books after signing pass rusher Terrell Suggs to a four-year extension Monday.

What's next for Baltimore? NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport said on Monday's edition of NFL Network's "NFL Total Access" that he expects contract talks with Eugene Monroe, seen as the team's left tackle of the future, to begin at this week's NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Look for Baltimore to also continue talks with Pitta's people in Indy, per Rapoport.

If the Ravens ultimately wind up tagging Pitta at the one-year, $6.8 million assigned to tight ends, Wilson was told Pitta might file a grievance through the NFL Players Association to be tagged as a wide receiver -- at $11.6 million -- after lining up in the slot on 79.7 percent of his routes this past season.

That's not a narrow gap to bridge, and we're looking for Pitta to be tagged before it's all said and done.

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