When the Ravens gave Billy Cundiff a low restricted free agent tender back in March, the veteran kicker had a talk with members of the team's front office.
He told them that he didn't want to sign the tender until he knew what the Ravens' plans were as far as bringing in another kicker to compete for the job.
Here's Cundiff's recollection of the Ravens' response: "They said, 'Well, here's what we want to do - we want to bring in Shayne Graham to compete against you. It's going to be a while; he probably won't come in until June. We're not going to give him any money up front, and we're just going to let you guys duke it out. Whoever the best guy is in this competition while we're watching is going to be our guy.'
"So I knew once they said that, they've been nothing but truthful to me, so I just took them for their word, and they came through."
In Graham, Cundiff was competing against the fourth-most accurate kicker in NFL history and a guy with a proven track record. To many outside observers, that appeared to give Graham an advantage before he had even stepped on the field at training camp.
But Cundiff said he was told past performances wouldn't play a factor whatsoever in the Ravens' decision on who to keep.
"Going into this competition, I was assured that it was going to be all about 'What have you done in training camp; what have you done in OTAs; what are you doing this year?'" Cundiff said. "Kind of like the old saying, 'Past performance doesn't predict future success.'
"I knew that going in, if they held up their word, then I was confident that I was going to be the guy at the end. Why wouldn't I? It's one of those things that if you go into a competition, if you don't think you're going to be the guy, you probably shouldn't go into that competition."
Cundiff outperformed Graham throughout training camp and the preseason, and when final cuts came on Saturday, the journeyman kicker who has spent time with nine different organizations was the one left standing.
"Obviously, going into training camp, the goal is to be the guy," Cundiff said. "And now that's here, so it feels really good."