After performing well at the team’s rookie minicamp two weeks ago, rookie kicker Justin Tucker has finally made his way onto the roster after signing a contract with the Ravens on Tuesday.
Much confusion existed in the days leading up to and following the rookie camp over the former Texas kicker’s status, but his performance during the tryout led to the Ravens assuring him a spot on their off-season roster. Tucker was not present for the most recent round of organized team activities held last week, but there was much speculation he would eventually be added to the 90-man roster.
To clear a spot, the Ravens released wide receiver and return specialist Phillip Livas, who was signed to the practice squad late last season but became expendable after the additions of fifth-round pick Asa Jackson and veteran wide receiver Jacoby Jones to address the return game.
Tucker made 40 of 48 field goal attempts in his time with the Longhorns and made a 55-yard field goal in the first day of rookie workouts when he was awarded a tryout with the Ravens. In a practice open to the media, Tucker made all four attempts inside 50 yards before missing two attempts from 60 yards that showed impressive distance.
The Ravens have repeatedly expressed confidence in Billy Cundiff, but it would have been surprising had they not added another kicker to provide some level of a push during the preseason. It’s a common practice for teams to add an extra kicker during camp to ease the workload of its incumbents.
Cundiff will certainly have the upper hand, so it would be a stretch to label it a true competition between the two kickers. However, Tucker’s credentials at Texas would suggest him being a viable option should Cundiff struggle in the preseason while trying to shake off the 32-yard miss that would have sent the Ravens to overtime in the AFC Championship.
In his final season at Texas, Tucker was 1-for-2 in attempts of 50 or more yards and 4-for-4 on attempts between 40 and 49 yards.