Yesterday’s topic du jour was kicker Mason Crosby’s five-year contract that made him one of the highest-paid kickers in the NFL, and observers were torn between paying for the security of locking Crosby up long term and wondering if his lucrative contract was worth it for a kicker with below-average accuracy.
In response to Mason Crosby’s field goal accuracy, Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette noted his frequent attempts from long range. “In Crosby’s defense, 21 of his 137 career field goal attempts have come from 50 yards or longer, and those lower percentage kicks have brought down Crosby’s average,” writes Vandermause.
C.D. Angeli of Tundra Vision frames the discussion in terms of the franchise’s recent history of letting specialists go. “The difference is that now we’ve given Crosby the kind of money that you give kickers who consistently make field goals at a clip in the mid-80′s and low-90′s,” writes Angeli. “It’s a smart move by Thompson, who has likely learned from his own mistakes, to keep a relatively solid guy in the fold. By not keeping him at a hometown discount, however, Crosby will have more of a microscope on him over the next few years.”
The lack of competition for Mason Crosby is noted by Chad Toporski of AllGreenBayPackers.com. “It’s no secret that the Packers like what they have in Crosby despite the sometimes-overwhelming criticism from fans,” writes Toporski. “They haven’t given him much (if any) competition in training camp outside of his first season, and their current lack of undrafted free agent signings at the position this year will seem to continue that trend.”
Call Monty McMahon of Total Packers skeptical. “The Packers will tell you it’s tough to kick in Lambeau Field in the winter and they’d be right, but I have a hard time believing Crosby is one of the best kickers in the game,” writes McMahon.
Falling in the same boat is Kevin McCauley of Acme Packing Company. “Good lord,” starts McCauley. “I like Mason Crosby a lot and I’m happy we kept him, but dude makes 78% of his field goals. Would Ray Guy have been worth that kind of contract? People think we can’t afford to pay James Jones $4 million per year…and we go and do this? Wow. Wow wow wow.”
A column on T.J. Lang and the left guard position is written by Michael Rodney of Packer Update. “As a rookie, Lang flashed power in his punch and the ability to jolt defenders to the ground,” writes Rodney. “He also showed active hands and the ability to steer and control defenders. Those physical gifts, along with an extremely high football IQ, should give him a chance to not only replace Colledge at left guard if necessary, but perhaps upgrade the position as well.”
The man T.J. Lang would replace is Daryn Colledge, and Andy Hayes of packergeeks thinks it won’t be a huge loss. “Colledge was not an All-Pro and another player should be able to slide in there without much problem,” writes Hayes. “In fact, I’ll take it a step further and note that with another guard in there our line may be better overall (especially in the running game).”
Another player on their way out is linebacker Nick Barnett, and C.D. Angeli attempts to rationalize the decision of the Packers to part ways with the long-time starter. “Barnett, who entered the McCarthy era back in 2006 as the de facto starter and never once had to seriously accept a challenge to his position, found himself the odd man out. Salary cap savings were more important than that emotional leadership, which the Packers also managed to find out they could come up without Mufasa.”
Among other items, Dan Kasper of Green Bay Packer Talk weighs in on Nick Barnett as well. “The release of Nick Barnett wasn’t that surprising,” writes Kasper. “I am really sad to see the guy leave, because he always played at 110% and you could tell he loved playing for the Packers. But, its a business and the Packers couldn’t afford to keep him at his salary. Especially with his injury plagued past.”
Reacting to Aaron Rodgers’ comments on a local radio show to keep James Jones is Kareem Copeland of the Press-Gazette.
Packers blogger Brandon Benson of Acme Packing Company made an appearance on CLNS Radio.
The Packer Backer takes a closer look at Clay Matthews.
A picture of Donny Anderson appears at Packerville, U.S.A.
A snapshot of Jaime Edmondson in Packers gear is at Total Packers.
Several Packers topics are covered at Aeyrs Sports.
Brian Carriveau is the editor of the Maple Street Press Packers Annual. To contact Brian, email firstname.lastname@example.org.