Justin Tucker Proves His Worth at Baltimore Ravens Mandatory Minicamp


Anyone who does not think the Baltimore Ravens should sign Justin Tucker to one of the largest deals in NFL history for a kicker should just watch as he hit a 67-yard attempt with plenty of room to spare, according to BaltimoreRavens.com. 

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Tucker is the most accurate kicker in NFL history with an 89.8 percent success rate on field goals attempts. He has never missed a point after try in his three seasons in the NFL. When No. 9 trots onto the field, it’s basically automatic.

If it was his money that was on the line, Steve Smith Sr. is paying the man. The outspoken wide receiver flashed the money sign to Owner Steve Bisciotti and General Manager Ozzie Newsome after the successful kick.

When Tucker missed a 54-yard try moments later, Smith was yelling at the former Texas standout as if he was an agent.

"“C’mon Tuck,” Smith yelled. “You have to make kicks! How am I supposed to get my three percent?”"

Even the best are going to miss from 50-plus. Tucker has missed just 11 field goals in his NFL career and six of those misses have been over 50 yards. Regardless, he is still considered one of the best kickers in the league.

A lot of kickers have just one of the two traits kickers need to be successful: strength and accuracy. Some of the more accurate kickers lack the power to get the ball 50-60 yards in the air. The ones with stronger legs often struggle with accuracy. That’s what makes Tucker such a commodity to the Ravens.

The Ravens have had a lot of success from their kickers, led by Matt Stover. Stover played 13 seasons in Baltimore and was the third most accurate kicker in league history when the club decided it was time for a change.

Over the next few years, the team struggled to find a consistent kicker. The Ravens had Steven Hauschka already on the roster when they decided to cut ties with Stover. Hauschka handled mostly kick-off duties prior to Stover’s exit, but was given the starting job entering the 2009 season. The team released Hauschka mid season after he converted just 9-of-13 field goal attempts.

Next up for Baltimore was Billy Cundiff, a name that still stings when it comes to mind. Cundiff actually made the Pro Bowl in his first full season with the Ravens, converting 26-of-29 field goal attempts and a league-high 40 touchbacks. That’s not why he is remembered, however. Fans will never excuse him for missing the 32-yard field goal in the final seconds of the 2012 AFC Championship against the New England Patriots.

The Ravens brought in Tucker, an undrafted rookie free-agent that offseason and the rest is history.

The rule change for PATs should definitely cause some drama this season in the NFL. We have already explained why that should not matter to Tucker. He has never missed a kick under 40 yards.

Statistically, 2014 was the worst season for Tucker as he finished 29-of-34. For every successful kick Tucker makes in 2015, his dollar figure will go up. That is why the Ravens should sign him long-term as soon as possible.

Bisciotti and Newsome, make Smith and the Ravens fan base happy. Give the man what he is worth and reap the rewards.

Next: News and Notes from Day One of Ravens Minicamp