The team could have franchised Pitta before Monday's deadline, which at the tight end level would have been worth $6.709 million. Pitta, 28, had a breakout season in 2012, catching 61 passes for 669 yards and seven touchdowns.
He suffered a fractured, dislocated right hip last summer which limited him to four games in 2013. He finished the season with 20 receptions for 169 yards and one touchdown after being activated to play in December. NFL free agency: Latest rumors, buzz