The next contract Billy Cundiff signs will be his 15th in nine years in the NFL.
You could understand if he hopes this one will give him a little more long-term security than the previous 14.
Coming off a Pro Bowl season, Cundiff, an unrestricted free agent, should have plenty of suitors on the open market. But the 30-year old says he hopes to be back in Baltimore kicking for the Ravens next season.
“I think I’ve made the best case possible, and I’d like to come back,” Cundiff said. “I absolutely love this place. I like the way the organization is run, I like the way the city is, the fanbase. It’s been fun.”
The good news for Cundiff is that the Ravens appear very interested in bringing him back, and head coach John Harbaugh said the team has already kicked off talks (pretty clever, huh?) with Cundiff’s agent about a new contract.
“I think it’ll come together,” Harbaugh said. “I know we’re in negotiations with him right now, along with other guys. I’ll be very surprised if something doesn’t get done with Billy Cundiff, and I’ll be disappointed. But, I think it’s going to happen.”
Cundiff had a career year this season, tying an NFL single-season record with 40 touchbacks and connecting on 26 of 29 field goals. If that’s not a statement going into unrestricted free agency, I don’t know what is.
While both sides appear confident that a deal will get done, the security factor will certainly play a part in the negotiations. Cundiff would almost certainly be looking for a multi-year deal, which would give him and his family a level of comfort after years of bouncing around from team to team.
“It’d be nice. I haven’t had that ever,” Cundiff said. “I’ve proved that I can deal with the lack of job security (but) it would be nice for my family to be able to say that my performance has set things up so we can take care of that long-term.
“When it’s all said and done, I’d like to be able to play for a winner, I’d like to be able to play in an environment where I feel like I can be successful. I feel like I have that here, and I really hope I get a chance to come back.”
As far as the monetary aspect of the contract, Cundiff says there are more important factors to him.
“I think what we’re trying to do is establish where do I fit (among) the kickers today, and say, OK, we’d like to be compensated that,” Cundiff said. “Nothing more, nothing less. So, I don’t think that what my agent will be asking for is unreasonable. I think that we have everybody’s best interest in mind.”
The post-Matt Stover Ravens have been looking for someone to give them stability at the kicking position. Now that they have Cundiff, you can bet that they won’t let him walk.