Ravens sign kicker Justin Tucker to four-year deal

Cecil Whig - - SPORTS - By SEAN GROGAN

sgro­gan@ce­cil­whig.com

The Baltimore Ravens agreed to terms on a fouryear deal with kicker Justin Tucker, the or­ga­ni­za­tion an­nounced Fri­day.

Tucker is the sec­ond­most ac­cu­rate kicker in NFL his­tory, hit­ting 130 of 148 ca­reer at­tempts. He is the fastest kicker in league his­tory to make 100 field goals, do­ing so in his 50th ca­reer game. He be­came the fastest kicker to reach 500 ca­reer points with a suc­cess­ful kick in his 60th game.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion had pre­vi­ously des­ig­nated Tucker as its fran­chise player. Teams had un­til 4 p.m. Fri­day to sign fran­chise play­ers to long-term con­tracts or they would play the up­com­ing sea­son un­der the fran­chise tag. Tucker had said he would not re­sign with Baltimore if a deal wasn’t reached by the dead­line.

The deal was made with less than an hour to spare.

“You want to talk about get­ting deals done in the 11th hour, we did just that, and at the end of the day, that’s all that re­ally mat­ters,” Tucker said. “I’m pumped that we were able to get it done. Now we can move for­ward and fo­cus on what’s im­por­tant. For me, that’s mak­ing kicks and for all of us it’s win­ning games.”

The Ravens did not dis­close terms of the con­tract, but ESPN’s Adam Schefter re­ported it to be worth $16.8 mil­lion over four years with $10.8 mil- lion guar­an­teed – the most guar­an­teed money for a kicker in NFL his­tory. The deal in­cluded a $6 mil­lion sign­ing bonus.

“Justin has be­come a cor­ner­stone for our team, and we are happy to get this con­tract com­pleted,” gen­eral manager Ozzie New­some said. “What is good for the Ravens right now is that we have our Pro Bowl spe­cial teams group – Sam [Koch], Mor­gan [Cox] and Justin – signed through the next three sea­sons.”

Cox, Baltimore’s long snap­per, and Koch, the punter and holder, are all signed through the 2018 sea­son.

“I’m def­i­nitely pumped to be able to con­tinue to work with those guys. They have been awe­some for me these last four years on the foot- ball field and also off of it as good friends and team­mates,” Tucker said of the self-en­ti­tled ‘Wolf Pack.’ “To me, it is im­per­a­tive to have a qual­ity long snap­per and a qual­ity holder be­fore you worry about how good your kicker is. You have to have the first two steps be­fore the ball leaves any­body’s foot, and those two are the best in the busi­ness.”

Tucker made three gamewin­ning field goals a sea­son ago and has hit 10 in his ca­reer. Since he joined the Ravens as an un­drafted rookie free agent in 2012, he has made the sec­ond­most kicks in the league. He has made all eight of his post­sea­son at­tempts in his ca­reer.

Fol­low Sean Grogan on Twit­ter: @Sean_Ce­cilWhig

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JOR­DAN SCHATZ

The Baltimore Ravens agreed to terms on a four-year deal with kicker Justin Tucker.

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