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Did the Ravens Make the Right Call Choosing Tucker Over Cundiff?

I’ve seen that celebration somewhere before.

Since the news broke yesterday afternoon everyone seems to have an opinion on the Ravens’ biggest decision thus far of the 2012 season. Some see the decision as a bold move, while others think that Cundiff really did nothing to lose his position.

Here’s rundown from those that support and argue against the Ravens choice of Justin Tucker over Billy Cundiff at kicker.

Some that agree:

“[R]eleasing him is the gutsiest move made by the Ravens this year,” wrote ESPN’s Jamison Hensley. “I would have made the same move as the Ravens. I wasn’t sure Harbaugh would make the change because of recent history. In 2009, the Ravens chose to go with undrafted Steven Hauschka instead of re-signing veteran Matt Stover. Two months into the season, the Ravens released Hauschka after he missed four field goals, including a would-be game winner at Minnesota. That’s how Cundiff ended up with the Ravens’ kicking job in the first place. The only thing I question in the Ravens’ handling of the kicking situation is not bringing in a veteran kicker to compete with Cundiff.” (Just a side note, the Ravens did invite veteran kickers to compete, but they turned the Ravens down thinking they couldn’t actually defeat Cundiff.)

They rolled the dice. They gambled. They took a shot. Come up with any phrase you like, but it’s still the same thing – the Ravens made a bold move on Sunday,” wrote’s Jeff Seidel.

“So here’s the point about why this wasn’t necessarily such a bold move. Tucker has displayed a stronger leg — Cundiff ranked near the bottom of the league in field goals from 50-plus yards — and he’s younger and cheaper,” wrote’s Ray Frager. “And the key thing about how this wasn’t a huge gamble: If Tucker doesn’t work out, there are certain to be veteran NFL kickers on the street available to bring in. And no matter who that is — say, somebody like former Terp Nick Novak — he won’t be all that different from Cundiff. So this was a logical move, but the Ravens aren’t really going too far out on a limb.”

Billy Cundiff was due $2.2 million base salary before being cut. Justin Tucker is due $390,000 salary, so financial element, too,” tweeted Aaron Wilson. “Thing about Justin Tucker is his maturity was unusual for a rookie. He earned this job.”

Those that don’t:

 “Sorry, I still don’t think it’s a good move,” wrote The Sun’s Kevin Cowherd. “Not unless Tucker totally out-performed Cundiff the past few weeks, which he didn’t. … Here’s my other problem with the move. I have this image in my mind: Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field, third week in November, wind blowing, 65,000 black-and-gold-wearing maniacs howling into the night, Terrible Towels waving, national TV audience tuned in. Ravens line up for a field-goal attempt with the game on the line.  Welcome to the NFL, Justin Tucker.

“Me, I want a veteran trotting on the field in that situation. No, there’s no guarantee Billy Cundiff makes that kick if he’s still a Raven. But as I wrote in the blog, everything else being equal, I’ll take the veteran over the rookie every time.”

Personally I’m fine with the move. I never really thought that the Ravens would go through with it but after Tucker’s fantastic camp and even better performance last Thursday he definitely won the job more than Cundiff lost it.

So let’s hear from you. Did the Ravens make the right move?

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3 Responses to “Did the Ravens Make the Right Call Choosing Tucker Over Cundiff?”

  1. SmokeNMirrors says:

    There will always be a place just to the left of my heart for Billy!

  2. Yes he cleary outperformed Cundiff

  3. I’m fine with how everything played out. Tucker was exceptional in practice and pre-season games.

    I just never thought that an undrafted rookie would be Cundiff out. Supposedly several vets refused to compete with Cundiff because they felt it was still his job. Obviously that’s not the case.

    Cundiff didn’t have to wait long as he signed a contract with the Redskins.

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