Ravens ink Pitta, Jones

The Baltimore Ravens hammered out two rookie contracts Monday, agreeing to terms with fourth-round tight end Dennis Pitta and fifth-round defensive lineman Arthur Jones. Both received three-year contracts with standard base salaries of $320,000, $405,000 and $490,000 as well as signing bonuses in line with the NFL slotting principle.

The closest three-year deal to Pitta in his round was Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Thaddeus Gibson. Drafted two spots after Pitta, Gibson received a signing bonus of $366,015.

The pair of deals gives the Ravens five remaining unsigned draft picks, including second-round linebacker Sergio Kindle (Texas), second-round nose guard Terrence Cody (second round), third-round tight end Ed Dickson (Oregon), fifth-round wide receiver David Reed (Utah) and sixth-round offensive tackle Ramon Harewood (Morehouse).

Pitta is slated to compete with Dickson for playing time behind former Pro Bowl tight end Todd Heap.

Pitta is the all-time leading receiver in Brigham Young history, catching 221 passes to eclipse Austin Collie's record. He ranks third on the school's all-time charts with 2,901 receiving yards and caught 62 passes for 829 yards and eight touchdowns last season as he was named to the All-Mountain West Conference first-team list.

An athletic target, Pitta has performed well during offseason minicamps.

"Dennis is a real instinctive player," Ravens director of college scouting Joe Hortiz said following the draft. "He's got outstanding hands. He's a real savvy route runner and just knows how to get open versus a zone. He's quick and sudden enough to be a mismatch versus linebackers, and he just brings that flexibility to an offense where you can line him up."

Jones is in a battle for a roster spot and playing time in the Ravens' defensive line rotation, but has drawn high marks for his work ethic, motor and versatility.

Ranked as a potential second-round pick heading into his senior year at Syracuse, Jones dipped to the fifth round after tearing his pectoral muscle prior to the season and tearing his lateral meniscus in his knee during the season.

For his career, Jones registered 144 career tackles, 38 1/2 for losses, which is a school record for an interior defensive lineman, 6 1/2 sacks and four fumble recoveries.

"Art Jones is a guy that is a big-body d-tackle with athleticism and competitiveness," Hortiz said. "He was a high school wrestler who was a champion, so he's a leverage player like [Tony Siragusa] and like Kelly Gregg. He has that background and strong foundation."


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