The Ravens will have a new kicker.
CSNBaltimore's J. Michael confirmed an earlier report by the The Suns Jeff Zrebiec and ESPNs Adam Schefter that the Ravens have cut veteran kicker Billy Cundiff and handed the job to undrafted rookie Justin Tucker. NFL teams have to get their rosters from 90 to 75 players by Monday and the final 53 by Friday.
Paul Sheehy, Cundiff's agent, told J. Michael via email that his client has been released by the Ravens.
Tucker was originally reportedly brought in to give Cundiff some competition. But he simply out-performed the veteran who also had signed a 15 million deal after a very good 2010 season.
The Sun reported that Tucker made 96 of 103 field goals in training camp (93.2 percent) while Cundiff hit 88 of 105 (83.8 percent). Tucker also made all five of his chances in games while Cundiff was 2-for-2.
There was no question that Tucker was gaining ground as time went on during the spring and summer. His solid performance during training camp and the exhibition games turned some heads.
But the biggest move came last Thursday when the coaches gave him the entire game against Jacksonville, and the rookie nailed a 53-yard field goal plus one other and six extra points. Tuckers been consistent throughout training camp, shown hes got both accuracy and distance, and the Ravens clearly feel it wont be too much of a roll of the dice.
The whole situation clearly had Cundiff frustrated, as he told the media after the game that if the Ravens didnt think what hed done was good enough then Ill take my services elsewhere, to be perfectly honest with you.
Cundiff also had to overcome his miss of a 32-yard field goal in the final minute of last years AFC title game in New England. That would have pushed that contest into overtime.
Coach John Harbaugh was being very careful in his answers with the media after the game Thursday and then again when he talked on Saturday.
We learned what we needed to learn, he said on Saturday. But its not an easy decision. If it was an easy decision, we would have made it. Its not an easy decision. Obviously, both guys bring something to the table.