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Dennis Pitta feels Brandon Williams owes him 2.5 million thank yous

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Tight end Dennis Pitta has an interesting theory about how the Baltimore Ravens used his $2.5 million pay cut.

"I think my money went to Brandon Williams," Pitta said with a smile. "He owes me something."

On March 9, Williams became the NFL's richest nose tackle, reaching a five-year, $52.5 million deal with the Ravens. A day later, Pitta agreed to take a 45-percent pay reduction in the final two years of his contract, which freed up much-needed cap space for Baltimore.

Has Pitta approached Williams about getting some compensation?

"Yes, we will work it out on the side," Pitta said.

Pitta accepted the sizable pay cut after leading all NFL tight ends with 86 catches. No previous Ravens tight end had caught more than 75 passes in a season.

But Pitta ranked 28th among tight ends with 8.5 yards per catch last season and scored only two touchdowns. There was concern that he had lost a step after dealing with two hip surgeries.

This led to a compromise where he'll earn $2.5 million in salary this season, which ranks 18th among tight ends. The highest paid are Jimmy Graham ($7.9 million) and Jason Witten ($7.4 million).

So, the Ravens get to keep Joe Flacco top security blanket and Pitta doesn't have to start over somewhere else.

"This is an organization that I wanted to be a part of, obviously," Pitta said. "So, it was important for me to stay here. We have been here eight years and have some deep roots here. I love playing for this team, for this organization, obviously for this city. It was important for me to stay."