For Justin Tucker, a year-to-year approach makes sense

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As more and more teams refuse to use the franchise tag as the starting point on a long-term deal, more and more players are choosing to go year-to-year under the franchise tag.

For Ravens kicker Justin Tucker, that decision is a no-brainer.

With the Ravens reducing their offer (apparently because Tucker had the temerity not to gratefully accept their below-market generosity), Tucker will make $4.5 million this year and hit the open market in 2017. If the Ravens tag him again next year, he’ll make $5.4 million.

So unless they’re guaranteeing him $9.9 million at signing, why should Tucker sign a long-term deal?

For most players, going year-to-year under the tag means carrying the injury risk. For kickers, the injury risk is considerably smaller — making it easier for Tucker to take $4.5 million this year and either $5.4 million next year or the best offer he can get on the open market in 2017.

Teams love to take full advantage of the rules that favor them under the labor deal, calling it “just business.” When players do that, however, teams sometimes get indignant and hostile. With more than a few tagged players refusing to accept the long-term deals their teams are offering as the 2016 deadline approaches, the players are finally pushing back with the tools they have under the CBA.

13 responses to “For Justin Tucker, a year-to-year approach makes sense

  1. “With the Ravens reducing their offer (apparently because Tucker had the temerity not to gratefully accept their below-market generosity)”

    With Gostkowski @ $4,300,000 and Mason Crosby @ $4,025,000 being marginally better and Janikowski (who is not as good) making $3,775,000 as the top 3 in salary how is a reported $16M/4 years below market value? This new yet constant premise of the tag value as the jumping off point is not realistic. Longer term security gets taken over cash in every contract, that’s the point of the guaranteed money head butts. Jumping off at the tag value is trying to have it both ways

  2. Gostkowski got 17.2 for 4 yrs with 10 mil guaranteed. Last summer. We d0n’t know what the offer from the Ravens guarantee was, but I don’t see why Tucker would take less.

  3. Tucker is a kicker. One day they have it, the next day they don’t. He wasn’t that great last season, and who knows if he’s the next Matt Stover. Why break the bank with him. Gostkowski is way more proven.

  4. I don’t fully agree that Crosby is marginally better than Tuck. Both are great kickers any team would like to have, but I’ve seen Crosby miss a few pressure kicks.

  5. “With the Ravens reducing their offer (apparently because Tucker had the temerity not to gratefully accept their below-market generosity)…”

    How do we know their offer is below market value? Any team could sign Tucker, but nobody has, so there’s no market setting his value right now. He’s one of the top two or three kickers in the league, and the franchise tag averages the top five salaries at his position, necessarily paying him as the 2.5th best kicker. How is that not the definition of market value?

  6. Florio is obsessed with someone going year-to-year on the tag. He writes several articles about it each season.

  7. Maybe Roger can create a way to suspend players that refuse to sign on the dotted line.

    I’m sure he feels it is detrimental to the game and whatever RG feels like………………he can do.

    So with that can come a 4 game suspension, and a fine.

    Heck I bet he could force Tucker to kick from an extra 5 yds, or maybe have 1 less lineman on the field during FG attempts. if he so desired.

    Nothing taints the shield!

  8. maust1013 says:
    Jul 14, 2016 8:26 PM
    “With the Ravens reducing their offer (apparently because Tucker had the temerity not to gratefully accept their below-market generosity)”

    With Gostkowski @ $4,300,000 and Mason Crosby @ $4,025,000 being marginally better and Janikowski (who is not as good) making $3,775,000 as the top 3 in salary how is a reported $16M/4 years below market value? This new yet constant premise of the tag value as the jumping off point is not realistic. Longer term security gets taken over cash in every contract, that’s the point of the guaranteed money head butts. Jumping off at the tag value is trying to have it both ways
    _______________
    Jumping of at the tag number is NOT trying to have it both ways. If Teams want to use the tag to limit player salary and movement the logic conclusion from the player point of view is that their next contract should average at least that tag number per year and the guarantees over the first three years should equal 3 years of getting tagged. We already saw how much merely OK to good players received on the free agent market. Most of the players getting tagged are better than those players. It appears It’s teams trying to have it both ways. On one hand they’re saying for this season we believe you’re worth the franchise tag number but in a long term deal we don’t. Doesn’t work that way.

  9. redclaw1314 says:

    01/22/2012 Billy Cundiff misses game winning field goal in AFC championship game vs Pats–Ravens have a short memory.

    ——

    Cundiff’s missed field goal would have tied the game…

  10. brawnyhombre says:
    Jul 14, 2016 11:40 PM

    “With the Ravens reducing their offer (apparently because Tucker had the temerity not to gratefully accept their below-market generosity)…”

    How do we know their offer is below market value? Any team could sign Tucker, but nobody has, so there’s no market setting his value right now. He’s one of the top two or three kickers in the league, and the franchise tag averages the top five salaries at his position, necessarily paying him as the 2.5th best kicker. How is that not the definition of market value?
    ——————————————————–
    If a team isn’t willing to give up 2 1st round picks for Von Miller, Alshon Jeffery, or Muhammed Wilkerson (or any franchise-tagged position player), do you really think any team would give up the same picks for a kicker?

    This is what has really killed the effectiveness of the franchise tag in creating an environment for a long term deal. The team has almost no risk once they apply the franchise tag. Unless it was a player like Andrew Luck, nothing will happen as far as offers from other teams.

    If they changed the compensation from 2 1st round picks to something like:
    -2nd round pick in the next draft
    -1st round pick the following year
    -3rd round pick in the 3rd draft after signing

    that might be enough to give the player a chance to get market value from another team, but they wouild likely get less than full market because of the pick compensation.

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