Justin Tucker is going to be a Raven for a long, long time. Tucker inked a four-year contract extension Monday, putting him under contract through the 2027 season.
Tucker still had two years left on his prior deal. He'll be 38 years old when this contract expires.
"I'm fired up, I'm blessed," Tucker said. "I know that I get to come to work at an amazing place with amazing people. We get to continue working on building something great and working towards championships. Just to know that I will be in the plans for exactly that makes me feel very special."
A week ago, the Pittsburgh Steelers signed kicker Chris Boswell to a four-year, $20 million deal that gave him a $5 million average salary - tied with Tucker. According to reports, Tucker's deal has an average of $6 million per year with $17.5 million guaranteed, making him once again alone at the top as the league's highest paid kicker.
"That's not necessarily at the top of my priority list, as far as getting the deal done," Tucker said. "Now, it certainly has a nice ring to it; I'm not going to deny that. But what was and continues to be most important to me is just being in the plans for building a championship and feeling valued as a part of that process.
Tucker said the deal came together quickly, saying that he mentioned to Head Coach John Harbaugh at practice that it could probably get done in five minutes.
"You knew it was going to happen, I'll leave it at that," Harbaugh said. "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. Being out here with the mindset that he takes to it terms of his work ethic, also his sense of humor, his understanding of the moment."
Entering his 11th season with the Ravens, Tucker is the most accurate kicker in NFL history with a 91.1 field-goal percentage. He's one of just three kickers with a career conversion rate over 90%.
Tucker has also proven himself as an extremely clutch and long-distance weapon. Last season, he set the NFL record for longest field goal with a 66-yard bomb as time expired to beat the Detroit Lions. Tucker has also hit 99% of his extra points over his career.
The five-time first-team All-Pro has gone to three straight Pro Bowls. He had one of his finest seasons last year, connecting on 35 of 37 field-goal attempts (94.6%) and all 32 extra points.
Tucker is pretty much automatic from within 40 yards. He's connected on 98.3% of those kicks (178 of 181). He's hit 72.7% of his field goals from 50 or more yards.
Though he'll turn 33 years old this season and he and the team are being more vigilant about taking wear and tear off his leg, Tucker will still probably have a lot of kicking left when this contract expires. Adam Vinatieri was 46 years old when he booted his last kick in 2019, at the end of a 24-year career.
"This deal, for sure, checks all the boxes for me," Tucker said. "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 more happy."
Tucker was recently voted by ESPN pundits as the second greatest kicker of all time, only trailing Vinatieri. Tucker holds every edge on Vinatieri other than longevity and Super Bowl rings. Tucker got one as a rookie in 2012, but Vinatieri finished with four.
Tucker will take aim at both those marks as he's still at the top of his game. Tucker was also recently described as a lock to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame someday. Asked about that Saturday, Tucker said he appreciates the kind words but isn't thinking that far ahead.
"I really try not to think about that stuff. I really try to make it a point to take it one kick at a time," Tucker said.
"That's something that I heard from my agent coming out of college, and it's some of the best advice I've ever gotten, right next to my grandfather when I was trying out for the high school varsity team at Westlake (HS) in Austin; he said, 'Justin, just kick the damn ball.'"