Ozzie Newsome states that the Ravens will franchise tag Justin Tucker if a deal cannot be reached. https://t.co/LYxGrcROjm— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) February 24, 2016
Ozzie Newsome confirmed what many have been speculating: the Ravens will Franchise K Justin Tucker if the need arises.
In a frank and somewhat surprising revelation, Newsome was direct, confident, and matter-of-fact with the Ravens' track with Tucker. Some have speculated that he would leave, others have speculated that he would be released. The Ravens do not appear to have a lot of cap space to work with, but Newsome's tenor was very different in this press conference.
"We are in a position where we can be very active in free agency without having to get something done with Joe," he explained.
He was referring to the much-ballyhooed contract negotiations with QB Joe Flacco, which has been set for sometime during the Combine weekend.
Tucker is the second most accurate kicker in NFL history, as things stand now. He would earn $4.5 million with a franchise tag, according to ESPN's Jamison Hensley. The tag would take the average of the top 5 paid kickers in the league and make that amount his one-year salary.
The deadline for assigning the Franchise Tag is March 1st.
Ravens fans can at least rest assured that Tucker will be back in Baltimore, either way. The hope will continue to be as before, that he can be signed without the franchise tag, potentially saving the team some cap space for this year and solving a problem for offseason, 2017.