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Will deadline spur long-term deal for Tucker?

Will deadline spur long-term deal for Tucker?

The Ravens and kicker Justin Tucker are almost out of time.

The two sides have until Friday at 4 p.m. to reach a long-term agreement, or Tucker must play the 2016 season under the franchise tag, which the Ravens applied back in February.

At that time, it was considered a foregone conclusion that the team and their Pro Bowl kicker would reach an agreement on a long-term extension by the July 15 deadline. And to be sure, they still might.=


Tucker has said all along that he hopes to stay with the Ravens -- unlike many tagged players, he fully participated in OTA workouts -- and the Ravens have said all along that they hope to keep Tucker for the long haul. So it seems both sides want a deal to happen. The Ravens and other teams have frequently gone down to the wire getting such deals done.

What happens, though, if it doesn't?

The short answer is nothing; Tucker will be under contract for 2016, and will make a nice salary of $4.5 million.

The question is, would there be any fallout if a deal can't get done?

The Ravens would have their kicker eating up $4.5 million in cap space, seventh-most on the team. Any new deal would certainly lower that, although the Ravens aren't as tight up against the cap as in the past after jettisoning tackle Eugene Monroe, a move that freed up more than $6 million in cap space. Still, the Ravens would like to have more spending power, which translates into roster flexibility should the need arise.

But if a deal isn't reached, does Tucker's future become a distraction? And would that affect Tucker, who has been one of the most accurate, reliable and clutch kickers in his four-year NFL career?

Tucker ranks second in NFL history in field-goal accuracy at 87.8 percent  and has kicked 10 game-winners, including three in 2015.

And would Tucker harbor any ill will toward the Ravens if they can't or won't guarantee his services beyond 2016? Does it make him more likely to look elsewhere when 2017 free agency rolls around?

Truth is, the Ravens would have the option of using the franchise tag on Tucker again in 2017, at a salary and cap hit that would figure to rise above $5 million. (The Ravens tagged Terrell Suggs in 2008 and again in 2009, but worked out a deal before the 2009 deadline.)

So for those two years, Tucker would still rake in more than $9 million, a nice chunk for his growing family -- his wife had the couple's first child earlier this year.

But Tucker no doubt would like a long-term commitment from the Ravens and surely is looking closely at Stephen Gostkowski's contract; last summer Gostkowski and the Patriots worked out a four-year, $17.2 million deal with $10 million guaranteed.

Gostkowski, incidentally, had been tagged by the Patriots and then finalized the new deal just before the July deadline. Sound familiar?

We'll know by Friday whether Tucker follows suit.


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Ravens' Eric DCosta not ruling out taking a quarterback at No. 16

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Ravens' Eric DCosta not ruling out taking a quarterback at No. 16

And with the No. 16 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Baltimore Ravens select.... a quarterback?

Assistant general manager, and soon to be general manager, Eric DeCosta isn't ruling out the possibility that the Ravens use their first-round pick on drafting a quarterback to eventually replace Joe Flacco. 

"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 draft a quarterback in the first-round. 

Quarterback is just one of many offensive needs for the team. Joe Flacco's stats have been trending downward as the 33-year old is entering his 11th season.


Owner Steve Bisciotti though may disagree with DeCosta.

At his annual State of the Ravens press conference, Bisciotti said, "That’s not really something that we’re worried about right now. We’ve got bigger fish to fry, I guess. I don’t consider that a big worry," in regards to looking at life after Joe. Bisciotti also noted the team would be looking at all options in free agency and the draft for weapons for their QB.

From the sound of that, it appears the team's first choice would be a wideout, but the Ravens haven't drafted a quarterback since Joe Flacco back in 2008. 

The 2018 NFL Draft class has a handful of strong quarterbacks to choose from and not a ton of first-round wide receivers. 

Former Ravens scout, Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com has predicted the team with take Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield in the first-round. 

"It basically depends on our evaluation and how we feel about the guy, what we think he can become as a player and what we think his upside is and if he's there," DeCosta said

Backup Ryan Mallet is a free agent so the organization will have to find someone to fill the role, whether it's someone on a one year-deal, or the future QB of the franchise. 


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Ravens sign Michael Crabtree to three-year deal

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Ravens sign Michael Crabtree to three-year deal

The Baltimore Ravens have signed wide receiver Michael Crabtree to a three-year deal on Friday according to general manager and executive vice president Ozzie Newsome.

The deal is apparently worth $21 million, according to Adam Schefter.

After being released by the Raiders on Thursday following the signing of Jordy Nelson, Crabtree heads to the Ravens less than 24 hours later.


The 31-year-old is coming off a 2017 season when he recorded 58 receptions for 618 yards and eight touchdowns. In 2016 he posted 89 receptions for 1,003 yards and eight touchdowns.

Since 2015, the Texas Tech product has scored 25 receiving touchdowns, the fifth-most in the NFL. Crabtree and Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown are the only NFL players to post at least eight touchdown catches in each of the past three seasons.


In all, Crabtree has played nine NFL seasons – six of them with San Francisco (2009-14) and three with Oakland (2015-17). The former first-round draft pick (10th overall, Texas Tech) has registered 579 receptions for 6,870 yards (11.9 avg.) and 51 touchdowns in 125 career games (122 starts).

“Michael has played very well against the Ravens, so we know firsthand the attributes he brings to the game,” Newsome said in a team statement. “He is a smart, tough, physical receiver who battles for the ball. We like his temperament and believe he is a good fit for our football team, on and off the field.”

Since he entered the NFL in 2009, Crabtree’s 51 receiving scores rank 10th among active wide receivers, while his receptions (579) are seventh, and his receiving yards (6,870) are 12th.