Well, as I wrote the post just below late last night, I had that sinking feeling in the back of my mind that something was probably in the works.
That came to light just a few minutes ago … The Packers have signed Mason Crosby to a five-year deal worth $14.75 million, including $3 million in guaranteed money.
According to the report on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s website, jsonline.com, the contract places Crosby in the upper echelon of kickers in the league. Only Sebastian Janikowski of the Raiders makes more.
The new rule that places kick-offs at the 35 yard line will certainly be a benefit to Crosby, who consistently punches the ball inside the 10 yard line, but rarely kicks into the end zone.
Crosby’s agent, Mike McCartney was quoted in published reports as saying, “I expect a lot of series starting from the 20. I think it’s going to be great for Mason. He’ll be able to show off that powerful leg. When you kick from the 30, sometimes it’s hard at Lambeau to just kick it out. You’ll see a lot more touchbacks. It’s hard to kick in that place. But he’s thrilled. He’s back with the Super Bowl champs.”
The cap number for Crosby wasn’t available, but with the inevitable release or trade of Nick Barnett, Crosby’s new contract will probably only have minimal effect on the Packers overall cap numbers.
Clearly, this was a move the Packers had to make to stabilize one of the most important parts of the game – special teams. Crosby brings his strong leg back to the Packers and most importantly, his experience.
According to the lockout rules, the Packers can’t make the signing official until 5 p.m. Friday.