Will the Packers Keep Mason Crosby Next Season?

The Green Bay Packers now have three kickers on their roster competing for one job. It will certainly be an interesting battle for the job after all the special teams issues the team had last season.

The incumbent is Mason Crosby who has been kicking for the team since 2007. Crosby is the Packers all-time leading scorer with 1,806 points and he scored 124 points in 2021.

In 2020, Crosby hit all 16 of his field goal attempts but this past season, he struggled, missing nine field goals and two extra points during the regular season and then having an important kick blocked in the team’s playoff loss to the 49ers.

Crosby will turn 38 before the start of next season and he is scheduled to have a cap hit of more than $4.7 million. If the Packers release the former Colorado star, they could save approximately $2.4 million off the cap. They could also extend Crosby and reduce his cap hit for the coming season if the kicker is willing to do so. There is also a chance Crosby may decide to retire although he has not said anything about that since the season ended.

While the Packers have three kickers on their roster as of now, general manager Brian Gutekunst was clear that the team is not moving on from Crosby just yet. At his pre-combine press conference on Wednesday, Gutekunst was asked whether Crosby had attempted his last kick for the Packers and he quickly responded, “Oh, no, no, no.”

Gutekunst then added, “Obviously, Mason had to adjust to a lot of the things that were happening with our special teams unit and the snappers and the new punter and holder. With those moving parts, he had to adjust and I thought he did a really nice job towards the end of the year. We’re in that offseason period where we get a chance to look at a lot of guys.”

He later added, “There will always be competition and everybody’s got to hold their own.”

One advantage Crosby has over any competitors is his experience kicking at Lambeau Field. Once we get to the second half of the season, the weather gets cold in Green Bay and the wind conditions can be tricky and difficult for kickers to adjust to.

Crosby has been kicking at Lambeau for 15 seasons now and has also proven himself to be excellent in the clutch. His outstanding performance in the 2016 playoffs against the Cowboys was perhaps the best example of this. In that game, Crosby hit two field goals of more than 50 yards in the final 1:33 of the game including the game-winner from 51-yards out as time expired as the Packers beat the Cowboys in Dallas 34-31.

The Packers also have J.J. Molson on their roster. He spent all the 2021 season on the Packers practice squad and was there in case Crosby was sidelined by Covid and the team needed to bring someone in immediately to kick on short notice. He was also on the practice squad late in the 2020 campaign.

Molson has a strong leg and even hit a 60-yard field goal in training camp last summer. The former UCLA star will be 25 in April and has never kicked in an NFL regular season game. In college, he hit on just 68.9 percent of his field goal attempts. His strong leg resulted in touchbacks on 54.5 percent of his kickoffs at UCLA.

The Packers also signed Dominik Eberle earlier this week. Eberle played in one NFL game in 2021 with the Houston Texans. He made 2-of-3 field goals including a 51-yard attempt and hit all five of his extra point tries.

Eberle played with Packers backup quarterback Jordan Love at Utah State. He spent the 2020 season on the Raiders practice squad. His special teams coordinator with the Raiders was Rich Bisaccia who was just hired by the Packers earlier this month as their new special teams coordinator replacing the departed Maurice Drayton.

Gutekunst was asked about Eberle at his press conference and said, “He [Bisaccia] had some experience with him and brought him to our attention as someone that we could look at through the spring.”

It sounds like Eberle will have to make a strong showing at OTAs and minicamps to earn an invitation to training camp this summer.

The Packers have some tough decisions to make at kicker. Crosby has experience but the team could also save some valuable cap space by moving on from their all-time leading scorer. It will be yet another interesting component to what promises to be a busy offseason in Green Bay this year.

You can follow Gil Martin on Twitter @GilPackers

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6 points

Comments (30)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Coldworld's picture

February 24, 2022 at 12:10 pm

The fact that they have 3 kickers on the roster suggests that they are at least entertaining the idea. Perhaps that’s leverage to take a pay cut, but it could easily be more. It could also be that Crosby has tied himself to Rodgers too.

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BirdDogUni's picture

February 24, 2022 at 01:08 pm

I could see Mason retiring. I could also see our new ST Coordinator picking Mason over the other two guys in a competition. We are in for an exciting off-season if nothing else.

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Barnacle's picture

February 25, 2022 at 04:52 am

Rodgers will decide whether to keep Crosby when he feels like it?

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packer132's picture

February 24, 2022 at 12:54 pm

I don't see Crosby retiring at 37, as kickers can last in their 40's. He has lost some power though on kickoffs. He will compete with the two young kickers at minicamp. I think Packers try to work out a vet minimum contract before June 1 and see who wins the job.

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Lphill's picture

February 24, 2022 at 01:02 pm

Crosby was 16 for 16 in 2020 and 25 out of 34 last year for field goals.

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Qoojo's picture

February 26, 2022 at 11:17 am

Do blocked kicks count as misses?

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LambeauPlain's picture

February 24, 2022 at 01:11 pm

Bisaccia wanted him in camp. Mason: "Ruh Roh!"

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canadapacker's picture

February 24, 2022 at 01:40 pm

I am getting concerned about Mason's inability to kick the ball through the endzone even early in the year. There are two ways of fixing that - one is too replace him -if his replacement has a strong enough leg and is as accurate on field goals. ( One never knows what the pressure cooker does to a new guy in season but that is the risk). The other is to try to get a punter - or work on the punter doing the kickoffs during games. If the punter can also kick off that is a win win.

7 points
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crayzpackfan's picture

February 24, 2022 at 03:21 pm

I also am worried about his leg strength. The missed field goals could be written off as bad snaps, holds, and blocking schemes, but when you are constantly kicking it to the 5-10 yard line with the poor coverage we have, bad things happen. Great observation sir.

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dblbogey's picture

February 24, 2022 at 03:31 pm

That would be my question. Leg strength. He finished the season strong, half the early misses were others mistakes. He's had a really bad season before and bounced back. If his leg is strong enough and he takes a bit of a paycut, I have no problem keeping Mason.

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barutanseijin's picture

February 24, 2022 at 11:36 pm

His kickoffs were bad all year.

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Guam's picture

February 24, 2022 at 02:19 pm

I think most of the other dominos will fall before any move gets made with Crosby. There just isn't enough money to save by cutting him now that he would be a priority move. I suspect they will give Bisaccia the camps and preseason to look at Crosby (as well as the other kickers) before any moves get made.

Crosby was just average last year and if another kicker shines he could well be in trouble. Particularly if Rodgers and Adams are gone which would signal a rebuild is in progress, Crosby and his $5.4 million contract could be very vulnerable to competition in training camp.

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GeorgiaCheesehead's picture

February 24, 2022 at 06:26 pm

Average? He missed the most FGs in the entire NFL that is not average.

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Guam's picture

February 24, 2022 at 10:59 pm

And how many of his misses were attributable to long snapper problems, holder problems and bad blocking issues? Crosby's numbers were not good last year, but it wasn't all his fault either.

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jurp's picture

February 24, 2022 at 02:19 pm

Short answers, in order of most to least likely:

- If AR is extended, then AR will want him back, so in that case, he'll definitely be back. GM AR wants his friends on his team.

- If AR goes and we need immediate cap relief AND if Crosby allows his contract to be reword/extended, then Yes, at least through Training Camp.

- If AR goes and we need immediate cap relief and Crosby DOES NOT allow his his contract to be reword/extended, then he's gone.

As with everything roster-related this off-season, it all depends on Rodgers.

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dblbogey's picture

February 24, 2022 at 03:35 pm

There have been player/managers in baseball (Yogi Berra). We could make Arod a player/coach/GM.

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HarryHodag's picture

February 24, 2022 at 02:51 pm

Whether Rodgers wants him back or not: Crosby is gone. Mason is a great team player but, like all NFL players, Father Time catches up with them.
If he would play for the vets minimum, maybe. They can find another kicker at less cost.

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jhtobias's picture

February 24, 2022 at 07:07 pm

Sorry but Aaron runs the franchise and if he want's Crosby back as a condition to stay it shall be done. Gute and Murph have no say in any thing that goes on personal wise anymore

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canadapacker's picture

February 24, 2022 at 09:01 pm

WRONG There are players that AR will be adamant about and those that he wont - I think that what he was really bummed out was that he was not asked - especially when it had to do with the offence - ie Cobb long ago and recently he was pissed because he thought that Kumerow fit what he liked and Kumerow ( whether he was good or not - is not the point ) was cut without even the team asking him what he thought.

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HarryHodag's picture

February 25, 2022 at 08:29 am

What is the color of the sky in your world?(Frasier Crane).

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Swisch's picture

February 24, 2022 at 03:08 pm

I like to see our guys play with the Packers as long as possible, and even finish their careers here, but I understand that age and economics eventually become factors that must be addressed for the good of the team in its entirety.
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There's a lot to be said for sticking with the guy you got until someone who is clearly better comes along. Mason has done the job in the cold of Green Bay consistently for many a year, and has been super clutch in the playoffs.
The problems of last season may have been mostly due to factors other than Mason, and seem to have been corrected by the latter part of the season.
I'd like to know why the Bears didn't keep Robbie Gould, who is still alive and kicking. Have they been able to find anyone in the last several seasons who is as good as Gould?
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You don't scrimp on kickers. They're like closers in the bullpen in baseball, who after a grueling game of football, can be the difference between winning and losing at the very end.
The two guys competing with Crosby seem untested in the cold and in the playoffs.
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With all of these considerations, if the Packers think Crosby is comparable to past capabilities, I'd hold on to him as long as possible.

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Starrbrite's picture

February 24, 2022 at 07:14 pm

An excellent point Swisch—-“you don’t scrimp on kickers—they are like closers”.

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barutanseijin's picture

February 25, 2022 at 12:03 am

With Gould, i think it was a money issue. Pace might have felt like he needed to cut back. Gould got hurt a few times & had missed some time, too. The Bears went from one of the best to Double Doink.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

February 25, 2022 at 06:46 am

Swisch good points however with that being said I'd say should Rodgers and Adam's leave my thoughts is that Crosby needs to go as the Packers start a total rebuild. In this case, youth (with talent & potential) is the course to go.

If Rodgers and Adam's stay I'd like to see Crosby in a fight for his life to make the roster. I think it is easy for everyone to blame his troubles last year on others but none of us truly know how much was on Crosby. What I do know is he is killing special teams on kickoffs and putting the team in bad field position. If either of the other kickers are remotely close I say Crosby needs to go. I no longer feel confident when Crosby runs out on the field.

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Lphill's picture

February 24, 2022 at 03:12 pm

Aside from the kicker , I don’t get why a long snapper takes up a roster spot , every team has a backup center on the 53 why can’t that center do the long snapping and use that roster spot for someone more important ?

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Coldworld's picture

February 24, 2022 at 03:22 pm

Limited practice time allowed under recent CBAs really killed the dual long snapping role.

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barutanseijin's picture

February 24, 2022 at 09:12 pm

Long snapping requires a different skill set than regular snapping.

2 points
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jhtobias's picture

February 24, 2022 at 07:05 pm

Ask Aaron Rodgers it's his choice anyhow . Heck Gutey and Murphy would where an I love Crosby shirt if Aaron told them to. I love Aaron leaking that it's 50 million a year to keep me he has this franchise wrapped around his finger. What a freaken joke this has become ..

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PAPackerbacker's picture

February 25, 2022 at 05:57 pm

I certainly hope Mason Crosby is a Packer next season. I don't see him choosing to retire unless he gets cut and doesn't want to play for another team. Then he may hang up the cleats. I don't think his skills diminished as much as the special teams were just horrible.

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Qoojo's picture

February 26, 2022 at 11:19 am

It's all going to come down to money. They probably want to keep him, but they have a lot of money issues to work through.

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