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2012 NFL Pre-Season: Ravens Release Kicker Billy Cundiff In Favor of Rookie Justin Tucker

The Baltimore Ravens have made their decision on who will be their kicker for next season, going...

The Baltimore Ravens have made their decision on who will be their kicker for next season, going with undrafted rookie Justin Tucker to replace former Pro Bowler Billy Cundiff this season. With that, Cundiff was cut by the team.

Tucker showed that he would simply be a better fit for Baltimore, showing he had the leg strength to beat out the 32-year-old. Cundiff was 1-of-6 from 50 yards or longer last season, while Tucker already hit two of them in the pre-season.

Tucker would also be added in for a cheaper price. It was simply the better option.

"These decisions are never easy, and this one was difficult for all of us," Ravens head coach John Harbaugh told the Associated Press. "Billy had a great camp, the best he has had with us. He showed, like he always has, a toughness and an ability to come back and be a top flight NFL kicker."

Cundiff, who was a Pro Bowler in 2010, never exactly could find his groove last season. It got worse when he ruined the Ravens' chances of possibly making it to the Super Bowl last season, missing a crucial, 32-yard field goal against the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship with seconds remaining.

Cundiff has done everything to put that horrible memory behind him.

"Let's be honest, I feel like I've been through enough," he said. "There's not a single thing that I think somebody can trap me that I'm not prepared for. So, I know my confidence has been high, I know when I came into training camp a lot of people asked me where my head was at and kind of questioned whether I'd be able to even kick. Whatever the case may be, I felt like I proved continually throughout training camp that I came in prepared. And regardless of what's thrown at me, what the situation is, I feel like I'm ready to kick."

Tucker, who has worked hard throughout all of the pre-season, believes he's gotten better as a kicker now.

"To the naked eye, it doesn't look like I've made a lot of changes, but I've made a complete transformation from the kicker I was in college to the kicker I am today," he said Friday. "I feel like I'm kicking the best I ever kicked."


Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Josh Dhani is the founder of FootBasket. You can read more about him at his website. Follow him on Twitter @joshdhani.

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