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Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens strike 5-year contract

The Baltimore Ravens moved one step closer Friday to keeping both of their top two free agents off the open market.

The Ravens have agreed to terms with tight end Dennis Pitta on five-year contract worth $32 million, a Ravens source told NFL Media's Albert Breer. The team announced the move Friday afternoon.

The agreement was first reported by Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun.

Locking up Pitta means general manager Ozzie Newsome can wield the franchise tag in talks with left tackle Eugene Monroe ahead of Monday's deadline. The sides are still talking, per Breer, but no agreement is imminent.

We suspect Monroe will ultimately draw the tag to keep him away from the likes of the Miami Dolphins and Arizona Cardinals. Both are reported to be seeking a left tackle.

Pitta came in at No. 31 on Around The League's top 101 free agents. Because of his rapport with Joe Flacco as well as the Ravens' seemingly decades-long dearth of chain-movers, Pitta has more value in Baltimore than any other locale.

This is a sensible deal for both sides. If he drew the franchise tag, Pitta was more likely to receive $6.709 million as a tight end rather than $11.6 million as a wide receiver.

Now that Pitta is in the fold, Newsome and coach John Harbaugh can concentrate on overhauling the rushing attack and adding a reliable No. 2 receiver opposite Torrey Smith in Gary Kubiak's new offense.

The Ravens just moved a tangible step closer to regaining control of the AFC North.

The latest edition of the "Around The League Podcast" discusses the top 101 free agents and forecasts the offseasons of the Baltimore Ravens and Kansas City Chiefs.

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