BALTIMORE (KXAN/AP) — Over the past 10 years of his NFL career with the Baltimore Ravens, former Texas Longhorns and Westlake High School kicker Justin Tucker has been the best at his craft. Now, he’s being paid like it.
Tucker, a five-time All-Pro, signed a 4-year contract extension that makes him the NFL’s highest-paid kicker in terms of average compensation per year at $6 million, according to Sportrac. The extension is for $24 million in total with $17.5 million guaranteed. His previous contract was good through 2023, and it didn’t take long for Tucker and the team to come to terms.
“I joked to (head coach John Harbaugh) one day out at practice,” Tucker told The Associated Press. “We were just kind of just generally talking about the idea. I said, ‘I think something could get done in like five minutes.’ And sure enough, it took about five minutes.”
Tucker is as close to automatic as a kicker in the NFL can be. He’s made 91.1% of the field goal attempts and scored 1,360 points, the most ever for any player in their first 10 seasons.
As a Longhorn in 2011, Tucker’s 40-yard field goal to take down Texas A&M 27-25 as time expired in the Lone Star Showdown is one of the program’s most fond memories and was the last time the two bitter rivals played each other.
Harbaugh said Tucker’s leadership skills are just as good as his leg.
“Justin is beyond what kind of a kicker he is and all of that, I would say the kind of leader he is, the guy he is to be around,” he said. “Being out here with the mindset that he takes to it in terms of his work ethic, also his sense of humor, his understanding of the moment. Even in the meetings, he always has some kind of a comment. He laughs at my jokes, which I really appreciate.”
Tucker set an NFL record last season with a 66-yard field goal against Detroit that won the game, and he’s made 58 consecutive kicks in the fourth quarter and overtime, the longest active streak in the league.
Only Atlanta kicker Younghoe Koo’s 5-year, $24.25 million contract has a higher value, but Tucker makes more per year.
Tucker said money aside, he’s glad he can stay with the team that signed him.
“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 happier.”