Mason Crosby has had an interesting run over the past 12 months.
Riding along as the Green Bay Packers de facto place kicker, things began to unwind for him at the beginning of last season and came to a head in Indianapolis when he missed two kicks in the dome – the potential game-winner hooking so badly that it looked like a he was kicking into a hurricane.
The rest of the season didn’t get much better; in fact, it got worse as he continued to miss kicks and finished the season converting just 63 percent of his kicks – a career low.
Coach Mike McCarthy showed confidence in his kicker – at least publicly – and stuck with him for the season. Crosby rallied at the end of the year and converted all his kicks in the Packers’ two playoff games. But the team still had doubts – a fact that played out when they signed Giorgio Tavecchio during the offseason and bringing him into training camp to compete with Crosby.
During the first couple of weeks of camp, it appeared that Tavecchio was winning the battle – especially after the team’s Family Night scrimmage when Crosby was terrible. However, Crosby seemed to have been gaining an edge during the latter part of camp when the preseason games started. But the Packers surprised everyone by signing Zach Ramirez, another undrafted free agent, to add to the competition. After a couple of days of competition when Crosby was perfect, the team released Tavecchio and Ramirez and handed the job to Crosby – but with a caveat.
Crosby agreed to a massive pay cut with the potential to earn back his money back through incentives.
While Crosby didn’t have an opportunity last week to kick a field goal, one wonders just how long the Packers will stick with him if he starts missing more than he starts making. Just how long is the leash on him and how short is the patience level of Ted Thompson?
Remember, Mike McCarthy told the world and Giorgio Tavecchio that he should not stray too far from his phone and the team also brought Havard “Kickalicious” Rugland in for a tryout after the Detroit Lions cut him. In a recent interview from his homeland of Norway, Rugland said he was still high on the Packers list of kickers.
While we want Mason Crosby to convert every opportunity he’s presented, we wonder just how long he’ll be allowed to stick around if he doesn’t.
Time will tell and you better believe that Crosby knows that everyone’s watching