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Ravens cut Cundiff; Tucker takes over

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Ravens cut Cundiff; Tucker takes over

The Ravens will have a new kicker.
CSNBaltimore's J. Michael confirmed an earlier report by the The Suns Jeff Zrebiec and ESPNs Adam Schefter that the Ravens have cut veteran kicker Billy Cundiff and handed the job to undrafted rookie Justin Tucker. NFL teams have to get their rosters from 90 to 75 players by Monday and the final 53 by Friday.

Paul Sheehy, Cundiff's agent, told J. Michael via email that his client has been released by the Ravens.

Tucker was originally reportedly brought in to give Cundiff some competition. But he simply out-performed the veteran who also had signed a 15 million deal after a very good 2010 season.
The Sun reported that Tucker made 96 of 103 field goals in training camp (93.2 percent) while Cundiff hit 88 of 105 (83.8 percent). Tucker also made all five of his chances in games while Cundiff was 2-for-2.
There was no question that Tucker was gaining ground as time went on during the spring and summer. His solid performance during training camp and the exhibition games turned some heads.
But the biggest move came last Thursday when the coaches gave him the entire game against Jacksonville, and the rookie nailed a 53-yard field goal plus one other and six extra points. Tuckers been consistent throughout training camp, shown hes got both accuracy and distance, and the Ravens clearly feel it wont be too much of a roll of the dice.
The whole situation clearly had Cundiff frustrated, as he told the media after the game that if the Ravens didnt think what hed done was good enough then Ill take my services elsewhere, to be perfectly honest with you.
Cundiff also had to overcome his miss of a 32-yard field goal in the final minute of last years AFC title game in New England. That would have pushed that contest into overtime.
Coach John Harbaugh was being very careful in his answers with the media after the game Thursday and then again when he talked on Saturday.
We learned what we needed to learn, he said on Saturday. But its not an easy decision. If it was an easy decision, we would have made it. Its not an easy decision. Obviously, both guys bring something to the table.

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As 2018 NFL Draft approaches, Ravens to host QB Lamar Jackson per report

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USA TODAY Sports

As 2018 NFL Draft approaches, Ravens to host QB Lamar Jackson per report

With 10 days until the 2018 NFL Draft, quarterback Lamar Jackson is set to visit the Ravens this week, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. 

The former Heisman Trophy winner is a projected first-round pick as he has proven to have success in the air and on the ground. 

While at Louisville, Jackson had 9,043 passing yards and 69 touchdowns. He also rushed for 4,132 yards and 50 touchdowns. His NFL draft profile compares him to Michael Vick. 

RELATED: BEST QUOTES FROM RAVENS PRE-DRAFT PRESS CONFERENCE

The Ravens are in search of Joe Flacco's successor, but spending a first-round pick on a quarterback when there are other glaring needs is up in the air. However, assistant general manager Eric DeCosta isn't ruling out the possibility

"I feel like if there is a guy there that we think is really too good to pass up, we're going to take him," DeCosta told the team's website on the chance of drafting a quarterback in the first-round.

At their pre-draft press conference, GM Ozzie Newsome and DeCosta kept reiterating we could be surprised by who they pick at No. 16, if they do at all. 

While Jackson's numbers are impressive, he continues to be considered a late first-round pick as his build isn't up to typical NFL QB standards and scouts are concerned with his accuracy. What he does have in his favor is speed.

While fans are hoping for an offensive weapon, having Jackson learn under Flacco for a year (and maybe RGIII?) could rev up some excitement. 

RELATED: RGIII READY TO MOVE FORWARD AS NEW, GROWN PLAYER

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Heisman Trophy winner turned backup, Robert Griffin III fully embracing new role with Ravens

Heisman Trophy winner turned backup, Robert Griffin III fully embracing new role with Ravens

Robert Griffin III went from Heisman Trophy winner, to second-overall pick, to Offensive Rookie of the Year, to unemployed, to backup quarterback all in the matter of six years.

That's a rollercoaster of a career for a 28-year old, but RGIII is fully embracing the opportunity the Ravens have presented him with.

“I feel like I knew coming into this situation that this is Joe’s [Flacco] team," Griffin said at a press conference Wednesday.

"I understood that when I came in to work out; I understood that when I signed. I’m excited about the opportunity to learn from him. Whatever capacity the coaches ask me to help, that’s what I’m here to do. I’m here to compete, and I’m here to get better every single day – work hard. I think they saw that from me in the workout and in our general conversations together. I think they realize I’m ready for the opportunity and I’m ready for this role – whatever that role may be.”

RELATED: RGIII READY TO MOVE FORWARD AS NEW, GROWN PLAYER

Finding a backup quarterback that you can put some faith in during a time of desperation in today's league is a hard find, with the exception of the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles. 

While Griffin hasn't played since January of 2017, he offers legitimate experience that isn't being offered by typical backups. 

 "I feel like I’ve been able to get a better grasp of how to play the game in the NFL, what coaches are looking for. I think that’s a benefit, whereas in 2012 when I came in, it was more so learning everything on the fly and just going out and playing. Now I feel like I have to ability to go out and play and also know what I’m doing, be able to protect myself better, get the ball to the guys that need to get the ball and help a team win – in whatever way that is.”

The Ravens signed RGIII on a one-year contract worth $1 million - we're assuming- with hopes he'll never see the field during the regular season. Griffin made it clear he understands that role, but is looking forward to learning how to lead a team under a ten-year veteran. 

RELATED: RAVENS 2018 PRESEASON SCHEDULE

“Most of my interactions with Joe have been at midfield. I really do look forward to getting in the quarterback room with him. It’s a great opportunity for me. I still feel like I’m a young player. I’m 28, but I feel like I’m 25. He’s been through a lot of things in his career, been to the pinnacle and won a Super Bowl – Super Bowl MVP. I think that’s a great opportunity for me to learn and learn from him, and to just see the way that he attacks the game of football, the way he attacks the meeting room, practice, interacting with teammates – all those types of things – the way he leads." 

The RGIII saga in Baltimore is an open book right now, one that could come with an interesting ending.