Billy Cundiff’s time with Baltimore has come to an end.
On Sunday, the Ravens decided to release the veteran kicker who spend seven games a little over two and a half seasons with the organization. Undrafted rookie Justin Tucker beat Cundiff out for the job.
Tucker was nearly flawless through camp, hitting just under 95 percent of his kicks in practice (in front of the media, at least). Cundiff’s made 90 percent of his kicks inside of 50 yards over the last two regular seasons, though is only five-of-17 for his career beyond 50. Tucker has a strong leg and showed he can be relied on from long distance.
Cundiff also felt the ire of fans following a missed 32-yard field goal that would have sent the AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots to overtime this past January.
Against Jacksonville, Tucker hit a 53-yarder with a lot of room to spare.
This wasn’t an easy decision for coach John Harbaugh and the organization as Cundiff had a solid camp himself. Tucker won the job by outperforming Cundiff in practice. Both kickers made each attempt they were given in the first two practices.
However, it became clear that Baltimore was leaning in Tucker’s direction when it was announced he would handle all of the kicking duties against Jacksonville. Cundiff was benched and wasn’t happy about it.
"I don't think anybody would be OK with not playing," Cundiff said following Baltimore's 48-17 win over Jacksonville. "I know there are some certain situations in the preseason where there are guys who are beat up, whatever the case may be. Any time you feel like you're not getting reps -- you want to be the one out there kicking."
The move saves Baltimore $1.8 million in cap space this season, though that wasn't much of a motivating factor in this decision.
In addition to releasing Cundiff, the Ravens announced eight other players that were cut on Sunday: TE Davon Drew, WR Devin Goda, OL Addison Lawrence, C Cecil Newton, CB Jordan Maybin, LS Patrick Scales, QB Chester Stewart, WR Patrick Williams.
This puts the current roster at 81 players. With S Emanuel Cook (broken leg) and DT Ryan McBean (broken ankle) expected to go on IR, the Ravens should be down to 79.
That would mean the organization has four players to cut by Monday at 4 p.m. in order to get to the 75-player maximum.