OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — With an eye toward the future, Baltimore Ravens first-year general manager Eric DeCosta provided contract extensions to kicker Justin Tucker and guard Marshal Yanda.
Tucker signed a four-year extension through 2023, and Yanda added a year to a contract set to expire after the upcoming season. Both deals were finalized Wednesday.
DeCosta called Tucker, the most accurate field-goal kicker in NFL history, and Yanda, a seven-time Pro Bowler, “two of our best players.”
The goal was to get both players locked up early. Tucker’s extension modifies a four-year contract signed in 2016 that was to expire after the 2019 season.
“It helps us plan ahead, looking at next year, what our cap situation is going to look like and what the roster is going to look like,” DeCosta said.
Since breaking into the league as an undrafted free agent in 2012, Tucker has made 90.1% of his field goal tries — the highest career percentage in NFL history. He made 35 of 39 tries in 2018, missing only from 53 and 65 yards and getting two blocked.
“He’s the best kicker in the league,” DeCosta said. “If you agree to that, it’s pretty easy to get a deal done.”
A two-time Pro Bowl selection, the 29-year-old Tucker is the first kicker in NFL history to produce six seasons with at least 30 field goals. He missed the mark in 2014, when he kicked 29.
Tucker has made 241 of 242 conversions and has 13 game-winning field goals, including a 61-yarder at Detroit in 2013 to seal an 18-16 victory in which he scored all of Baltimore’s points.
“I think his best kicking, believe it or not, is in front of us,” coach John Harbaugh said.
Said Tucker: “I think we’re trending in the right direction as a team and I’m just incredibly excited to be a part of it.”