Ravens sign kicker Justin Tucker to a record-breaking four-year deal
The Ravens just gave Justin Tucker the most guaranteed money for a kicker in NFL history
It looks like Justin Tucker's threat worked out pretty well.
Less than 24 hours after the kicker threatened to leave the team following the 2016 season, the Ravens came through with a record-breaking offer, and Tucker accepted, according to CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora.
Here's Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome's statement about Tucker and the new deal:
Justin has become a cornerstone for our team, and we are happy to get this contract completed. What is good for the Ravens right now is that we have our Pro Bowl special teams group -- [punter] Sam [Koch], [long snapper] Morgan [Cox] and Justin -- signed through the next three seasons.
Tucker was one of only two franchise players, along with Von Miller, who reached a long-term deal on Friday.
According to ESPN.com, the two sides have agreed to a four-year, $16.8 million contract that will make Tucker the second-highest-paid kicker in the NFL. The deal also includes $10.8 million in guaranteed money, which is an NFL record for a kicker. The previous record belonged to Stephen Gostkowski, who received a $10.1 million guaranteed when he re-upped with the Patriots in July 2015.
Gostkowski, who signed a four-year, $17.2 million deal, is currently has the highest average annual deal among NFL kickers at $4.3 million per year, which his just a hair above Tucker's $4.2 million average.
Things started to get contentious this week for Tucker and the Ravens after talks seemingly broke down. Less than 24 hours before the deal was done, Tucker's agent, Rob Roche, came out and said that Tucker was going to leave Baltimore if the two sides didn't work out a long-term deal.
"Justin's disillusioned with the process right now and the Ravens position with him on his contract," Roche told ESPN.com. "If we don't get a long-term deal done by Friday, Justin will not entertain offers from Ravens after the season."
Tucker was hit with the franchise tag in February, and the two sides had until 4 p.m. ET on Friday to work out a long-term deal. If no deal had been struck, Tucker would've been forced to play out the season on a one-year, $4.572 million deal.
That's not going to happen though, and now Tucker will likely be in Baltimore through at least the 2019 season.
Things did go down to the wire though: The Ravens didn't officially announce the deal until 3:50 p.m. ET, just 10 minutes before the NFL's negotiating deadline.
We have agreed to terms on a new four-year deal with kicker Justin Tucker.— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) July 15, 2016
Although Tucker's coming off the worst season of his four-year career, he's still one of the best kickers in the NFL. Although Tucker has connected on 87.8 percent of his field-goal attempts in his career, he only hit on 82.5 percent in 2015, which ranked 21st in the NFL. The relatively low mark only brought Tucker's career percentage down to 87.8 percent, which is the second-highest accuracy rate in NFL history.
Not to mention, Tucker has been clutch when it counts. The Ravens kicker has 10 career game-winning field goals since signing with the Ravens as an undrafted free agent in 2012.
Tucker's 2015 season included a game where he went 5 for 5 in a 29-26 win over the Chargers.
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