The Baltimore Ravens released veteran kicker Billy Cundiff today. After spending the last three seasons with the team, they decided to go with rookie kicker Justin Tucker.
While Cundiff had a good showing this preseason, Tucker was more consistent and ultimately won the vote of head coach John Harbaugh who admitted it was a hard decision:
“We learned what we needed to learn, but it’s not an easy decision,” Harbaugh said. “If it was an easy decision, we would have made it. It’s not an easy decision.”
While Cundiff made the Pro Bowl in 2010, he will be remembered most for missing the potential game tying field goal in last season’s AFC championship title game against the New England Patriots.
Cundiff did not receive any playing time in Thursday’s preseason game against the Jacksonville Jags. Tucker played the entire game with two field goals from 33 and 53 yards.
After the game, Cundiff was “shocked and disappointed” by Tucker doing all the work. He likely took it as a sign that the team would soon cut him and later said:
“If that’s not good enough, I’ll take my services elsewhere to be perfectly honest.”
Cutting Cundiff before the 53-man roster cuts gives him time to sign with another team.
I’m not surprised by the Ravens decision to go with Tucker; he was more impressive this preseason and I like the idea of going with a rookie. I am still not “over” Cundiff missing the field goal in the AFC championship game, it’s a play I can’t watch again, just too painful.
Congratulations Justin! I’m excited for you and I can’t wait to see you play this season.