Justin Tucker's Salary Should Be $30 Million a Year, Says Skip Bayless

Lamar Jackson and Justin Tucker both came through when the Baltimore Ravens needed them most, combining to secure a 47-42 win over the Cleveland Browns on Monday Night Football to keep the Ravens in the hunt for a playoff spot.

Jackson put together a six-play, 38-yard drive to set up Tucker' 55-yard game-winning field goal with two seconds left, which improved the Ravens to 8-5 and drew them level with the Miami Dolphins, who currently control the final wildcard berth by virtue of holding the tiebreaker over Baltimore.

"It's definitely good that we made that kick, given everything this team is going through right now,'" Tucker told ESPN after the game.

"It keeps us in the playoff picture. We definitely needed to have this one. What the world saw on Monday Night Football was a Ravens team playing with guts."

Tucker had a near-perfect game, converting four of five extra point attempts before nailing the game-winning field goal.

FOX Sports anchor Skip Bayless led the praise for the four-time All-Pro kicker, suggesting Tucker deserved to be among the best-paid players in the NFL.

"Justin Tucker is worth $30 mil[lion] a year," Bayless tweeted.

"Seriously. He just wins games with a range and consistency no other kicker has."

Justin Tucker is worth $30 mil a year. Seriously. He just wins games with a range and consistency no other kicker has.

— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) December 15, 2020

The four-year extension Tucker signed with the Ravens last year is worth a total of $20 million, the fourth-richest deal in the NFL for a kicker, as per OverTheCap.

Only Harrison Butker of the Kansas City Chiefs and Will Lutz of the New Orleans Saints and Jake Elliott of the Philadelphia Eagles are signed to contracts with a bigger total value than Tucker's—both Butker and Lutz's deals are worth a total of $20.2 million, while Elliott is worth $20.1 million.

From an annual average standpoint, however, Tucker leads all NFL kickers to the tune of $5 million a year, ahead of Robbie Gould of the San Francisco 49ers and Graham Gano of the New York Giants, who make an average of $4.75 and $4.66 million per year.

Tucker's contract includes in $12.5 million in total guaranteed, the highest figure for an NFL kicker, ahead of Gould's $10.5 million, while Gano and Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus' contracts include $9.5 million in guaranteed money.

JUSTIN TUCKER. FROM 55 YARDS OUT. AUTOMATIC. #RavensFlock #BALvsCLE pic.twitter.com/MbYBUbu8bw

— NFL (@NFL) December 15, 2020

To put things into perspective, however, over the four years covering his extension, Tucker will make less than half the amount Patrick Mahomes will make on average from the 2022 season after signing a monster $450 million, 10-year extension with the Kansas City Chiefs earlier this year.

A deal worth $30 million a year would just about put Tucker in the top-10 of highest-paid quarterbacks in the league, in the top-eight of highest-paid wide receivers and in the top-three of highest-paid running backs.

With three games left in his ninth NFL season, Tucker has converted an all-time NFL record 90.8 percent of his career kicks and is yet to miss from kicks taken inside the 29-yard line after 75 attempts. He has converted 84 of his 87 kicks within the 30-39 yards range, 86 of 95 from between the 40-yard line and the 49-yard line and 42 of his 59 efforts taken from a distance of 50 yards of longer.

With 1,191 career points, he ranks eighth among the current players and 44th in the NFL's all-time list and leads all current players in extra point conversion, with a 99.1 success percentage.

Tucker's heroics never looked to be needed as the Ravens entered the fourth quarter with a 14-point lead, which swiftly evaporated as Baker Mayfield led Cleveland to back-to-back touchdowns on consecutive drives.

Jackson, who had retreated to the locker rooms to be treated with fluids after cramping up earlier in the fourth quarter, returned to the field with Baltimore down 35-34 and immediately made his impact felt.

The reigning NFL MVP engineered a nine-play, 78-yard drive culminating in a 44-yard touchdown pass to Marquise Brown to put the Ravens ahead by seven points.

Cleveland subsequently tied the game at 42 as Mayfield hit Kareem Hunt for a 22-yard touchdown pass, before Jackson got the ball back with 1:02 left in the game and strung together a six-play drive to set up the game-winning field goal.

Justin Tucker of the Baltimore Ravens
Justin Tucker #9 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates after making the go-ahead field goal during the fourth quarter of the game against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 14 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Ravens won 47-42. Jason Miller/Getty