Hip surgeries in consecutive years have put his 2015 season in jeopardy, and team officials said they might not know until summer whether Pitta will play again. Combine that uncertainty with the loss of Owen Daniels in free agency and the Ravens have only two healthy and experienced tight ends on their roster (Crockett Gillmore and Phillip Supernaw).
The Ravens showed interest in Scott Chandler last week before he reached a two-year, $5.3 million agreement with the New England Patriots. In total, eight free-agent tight ends have signed deals, thinning out an already unimpressive group. The lack of impact tight ends in the draft could prompt the Ravens to consider trading for a tight end to fill their void.
Here are the top four tight ends who available a week into free agency:
1. Jermaine Gresham, Bengals: The most productive tight end is still on the market because he is scheduled for surgery Thursday for a herniated disc. There is no timetable for his full recovery. Gresham has averaged 58 catches over his five-year career and is a solid blocker. But his fumbles and penalties along with his inability to play through injuries late last season caused many to label him a disappointment.
2. Rob Housler, Cardinals: He's big, athletic and relatively young (27 years old). Housler just doesn't have the stats (nine catches and no touchdowns last season). Teams have to determine whether he's a career underachiever or he's been vastly underused. Housler visited the Falcons last week but left without a contact.
3. Zach Miller, Seahawks: A coveted free agent four years ago, Miller didn't get many chances in Seattle's run-first offense. He is one year removed from catching 33 passes and scoring five touchdowns. Health is a concern. Miller missed 13 games last season and he's recovering from his second ankle surgery in less than a year.
4. James Casey, Eagles: This is another case where teams have to figure out whether Casey was underused by the Eagles or simply done. He's caught a total of six passes the last two seasons as he dropped to third on the depth chart. The bigger indictment on Casey is he's caught more than 18 passes just once in his six-year career. He's been linked to seven teams since being cut, but he remains unsigned.