The Ravens signed Justin Tucker to a four-year extension Monday, rewarding the All-Pro kicker with an NFL-best deal that he said “will more than ensure that I will be a Raven for life.”
Tucker’s deal, which extends his contract through 2027, will keep him as the league’s highest-paid kicker. The contract is worth $24 million, or $6 million annually, and includes $17.5 million guaranteed and an $11.5 million signing bonus, according to ESPN.
“I feel beyond blessed,” Tucker, 32, said after Monday’s training camp practice. “I’m fired up, I’m motivated — all the things that I was feeling before I signed, but ... maybe a little bit more after putting pen to paper. But no, I’m fired up. I’m blessed. I know that I get to come to work at an amazing place with amazing people. We get to continue working on building something great and working toward championships. Just to know that I will be in the plans for exactly that makes me feel very special.”
Tucker’s deal came together quickly. He recalled joking to coach John Harbaugh at a recent practice that an extension could be finalized “in, like, five minutes. And sure enough, it took about five minutes.” The extension was announced just a week after the Pittsburgh Steelers signed Chris Boswell to a four-year, $20 million contract extension, which tied Tucker’s contract for annual average value.
“You knew it was going to happen,” Harbaugh said Monday. He praised Tucker not only for his kicking ability but also for being “the kind of leader he is, the guy he is to be around, just being out here, the mindset that he takes in terms of his work ethic, also his sense of humor, his understanding of the moment. ... We’re happy to have him back.”
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Said Tucker: “What was and continues to be most important to me is just being in the plans for building a championship and feeling valued as a part of that process. So, listen, this deal, for sure, checks all the boxes for me. And for all intents and purposes, this is the type of deal that will more than ensure that I will be a Raven for life. And for that alone, I couldn’t be more happy.”
Tucker’s extension comes after an impressive 2021 season, during which he led the NFL in field-goal accuracy (95.6%) and extra-point accuracy (100%). Tucker converted two game-winning field goals, including an NFL-record 66-yarder in a victory over the Detroit Lions in Week 3, and enters 2022 having made 58 straight fourth-quarter and overtime field-goal attempts.
Tucker, a five-time Pro Bowl and first-team All-Pro selection, is the most accurate kicker in league history and among the greatest-ever specialists. In a recent ESPN survey of experts, reporters and analysts, former New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri just edged Tucker in voting on the best player in NFL history at the position.
Tucker has made 91.1% of his career field-goal attempts, 99% of his extra-point attempts and is the first kicker in NFL history to register at least 130 points in six straight seasons. Since 2012, Tucker ranks first in the NFL in field goals made (326) and points (1,360). His 1,360 points scored are also the most in the first 10 seasons of a career in NFL history.
When he was asked after a training camp practice Sunday about his likelihood of making the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Tucker brushed off the suggestion and praised his teammates.
“I really try not to think about that stuff,” he said. “I really try to make it a point to take it one kick at a time. That’s something that I heard from my agent coming out of college, and it’s some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten, right next to my grandfather when I was trying out for the high school varsity team at Westlake [High School] in Austin [Texas]. He said, ‘Justin, just kick the damn ball.’ ...
“My focus is much more on just taking it one kick at a time, one practice at a time, one game at a time. ... They’re not even just saying it about me; they’re saying it about us; they’re saying it about what the Ravens’ specialists and their coaches have been able to put together, as a whole, collectively. So, yes, I think about it as, ‘Oh, that’s nice,’ but I’ve still got to take it one kick at a time, and there is a lot more than just me kicking the ball.”