AFC Notes: Ravens, Tucker, Raiders, Chargers

As the Ravens’ franchise player, kicker Justin Tucker will make $4.572MM this year if he and the team don’t agree to a new contract by the July 15 deadline. The two sides haven’t struck a deal yet because Tucker is likely looking to eclipse the Patriots’ Stephen Gostkowski as the NFL’s highest-paid kicker, according to Clifton Brown of CSN Mid-Atlantic. Gostkowski inked a four-year, $17.2MM pact that features $10.2MM in guarantees last summer, when he was 31. The 26-year-old Tucker is significantly younger than Gostkowski and has hit a higher rate of field goal attempts (87.8 percent to 87.3), albeit in 168 fewer tries. Both the Ravens and Tucker want to extend their relationship, writes Brown, who expects them to reach an agreement by next Friday’s cutoff.

Elsewhere around the AFC…

  • Big-money Raiders acquisition Bruce Irvin expects to reap the benefits of playing with superstar defensive end Khalil Mack, the ex-Seahawks linebacker told Eddie Paskal of the team’s website. “I think me being on the other side of him, I’m going to benefit a lot and get one-on-one situations, and I have to win those matchups.” That’s presumably why the Raiders awarded $19MM in guarantees to Irvin, who totaled 22 sacks in his four-year tenure in Seattle. Mack picked up 15 on his own in 2015, which was only his second season, but no other Raider had more than four. “He’s just a freak, man,” Irvin said of Mack. “He can play the run. He can rush. He can do all types of stuff, [he’s] the kind of guy you want to play with.” Mack ranked ahead of Von Miller as Pro Football Focus’ best edge defender last season and earned even higher marks as a run defender than as a pass rusher. Mack’s grade against the run (96.3) was far and away tops among edge defenders last year.
  • Center Trevor Robinson is a potential cap casualty for the Chargers this summer, reports Tom Krasovic of the San Diego-Union Tribune. By moving on from Robinson, the Bolts would save $2.3MM and take on just $75K in dead money. If the team keeps the 26-year-old, it could be after restructuring his deal, per Krasovic. Robinson, who’s still not 100 percent from a shoulder injury he suffered last season, made 13 starts in 15 appearances for the Chargers in 2015. San Diego has since added free agent pickup Matt Slauson and third-rounder Max Tuerk to the fray at center.
  • In case you missed it, the Jets and franchise-tagged defensive linemen Muhammad Wilkerson aren’t progressing toward a new contract.
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