Ravens Place Franchise Tag On Justin Tucker


The Ravens have officially placed the franchise tag on kicker Justin Tucker.

The franchise tag ensures that Tucker, a pending unrestricted free agent, will be a Baltimore Raven for at least one more year.

Baltimore can still work out a new long-term contract with Tucker before he plays under the tag, which would reportedly cost about $4.5 million. It's roughly the average of the top-five kickers' salaries in the league.

The Ravens have until July 15 to come to an agreement on a new deal before Tucker is locked into the one-year tag.

Baltimore has a history of placing the tag on players before coming to an agreement. They did so with Terrell Suggs and Ray Rice previously.

"We've had some [contract] discussions, but we will franchise Justin if we do not get a deal done," General Manager Ozzie Newsome said Wednesday. "Even if we do franchise him, we will continue to work to get a deal done."

Although his field-goal percentage dropped to a career-low 82.5 percent last season, Tucker was rated as the best kicker in the league last year by Pro Football Focus (PFF). It's the second year in a row that he's taken PFF's top spot.

Over his four years in Baltimore, he's been clutch, reliable and a beloved part of the locker room and community. Tucker is the second-most accurate kicker in NFL history and limits opponents' return game with his long kickoffs.

"At this juncture, I'm kind of letting it all just unfold how it's going to unfold, and I'm optimistic that something will get done," Tucker said just after the season ended.

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