As we all prepare to throw Billy Cundiff on the first bus out of Baltimore for an unproven 22-year old rookie, I can’t help but think that the Ravens are partially to blame for his failures.
Let’s remember that prior to 2009, Cundiff bounced around from the Cowboys to the Buccaneers, Packers, Saints, Falcons, Chiefs, Lions and Browns. His two seasons in Baltimore have been the most he spent with one team since his 3 1/2 seasons with Dallas from 2002-2005.
But despite this inconsistent track record, the Ravens signed Cundiff to a questionable five-year, $15 million deal after his first Pro Bowl season. The following year, Cundiff’s numbers returned to form (75.7 percent field goal percentage, 10-for-12 from 30-39 yards, 7-for-9 from 40-49 yards and 1-for-6 from 50+ yards).
Of course as everyone remembers, Cundiff shanked a potential game-tying 32-yard field goal in the AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots last season which is the reason for most Ravens’ fans hostility towards him. Cundiff however was rushed out to the field for the kick (for some strange reason/conspiracy theory) and rather than John Harbaugh call his last remaining timeout to allow his kicker enough time to setup for the biggest kick of his career, Harbaugh chose to let Cundiff race out to the field.
Call a timeout and who knows what happens.
So is it really Billy Cundiff’s fault that he never met the expectations set by the Ravens organization? I don’t he could have ever lived up to the contract. Although with a simple timeout, perhaps he could have.