Baltimore Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta says that if the Ravens had decided to use a franchise tag on him and called him a tight end, he would have considered filing a grievance, reports the Baltimore Sun.
On Wednesday, an arbitrator ruled that New Orleans Saints' Jimmy Graham will be franchise tagged as a tight end instead of a wide receiver, a distinction that carries about a $5 million difference in a year's salary.
Pitta avoided the same battle by signing a long-term contract with Baltimore back in March, worth $32 million over five years. Had the Ravens' designated him as the franchise player at tight end instead, he would have thought about fighting the classification.
The 29-year-old Pitta is listed as a tight end but may have had a better shot than Graham at winning the wide receiver distinction. As pointed out by The Sun, Pitta, who only played four games in 2013 after having hip surgery, "lined up outside in the slot on 79.7 percent of his snaps." That was more than any other tight end in the NFL last season.
Back in March, Pitta talked about the debate over Graham's tag:
“Why all the sudden because he’s labeled a tight end does that devalue his stock?” Pitta said. “I think it’s something that he should challenge because it’s not right that he can catch more touchdowns and yards than someone that is classified as a wide receiver yet because he has that tight end label, now all the sudden his value is cut in half.”
Pitta had seven touchdowns and 669 total yards during the Ravens 2012 Super Bowl season.