A half-hour before the deadline to sign franchise-tagged players to long term contracts, the Ravens agreed to terms with Pro Bowl kicker Justin Tucker.
The Ravens originally placed the $4.5 million franchise tag on Tucker on February 26 in hopes of reaching a long-term deal this summer. On Thursday night reports broke that Tucker was “disillusioned” with the lack of progress the Ravens were making with him. However, whatever complications the two sides had appear to be in the rear-view mirror as an agreement was reached Friday afternoon.
The $10.8 million figure places Tucker at the top of the list in guaranteed money received by kickers. The total value of Tucker’s contract, however, falls behind Dan Bailey’s $22.5 million contract with the Cowboys and Stephen Gostowski’s $17.2 million contract with the Patriots.
Since coming into the Ravens as an undrafted free agent in 2012 and beating out Billy Cundiff to win the kicking job, Tucker has been the second most accurate kicker in the NFL. In four seasons, Tucker converted 130 out of 148 field goal attempts and has not missed a field goal in the playoffs.
Tucker has several clutch game-winning field goals in his career. Two moments that stick out to Ravens fans are his 47-yard game-winning field goal in the divisional round of the 2012 playoffs against the Denver Broncos, and against the Detroit Lions in 2013 when Tucker booted a career-long 61-yard field goal with 43 seconds left to win the game. The field goal against the Broncos came in double overtime with a negative wind chill.
Tucker has become a fan-favorite both on and off the field. His celebrations and dances keep with the latest trends and have definitely been more on the creative side. Tucker also has a multitude of talents, and one of them is singing opera – in seven different languages.
Even though he is not on the field much, Tucker’s position is one of the most important on the team. He can be the difference between a win and a loss. Because he is currently the second most accurate kicker in the NFL, the Ravens like their chances if they face a game-winning field goal and Tucker has to kick it for them.
Negotiations took almost a year, but the Ravens recognized what they have in Tucker with the new contract for the Pro Bowl kicker.