Re-Signing Crosby Was A No-BrainerPosted:Jul 27th, 2011 4:39 pm
Now, it gets tricky. As Ted Thompson looked at the list of the Packers free agents over the past few months, you can bet he circled one name: Mason Crosby. He was the #1 priority. All the others are replaceable, many would be welcomed back--at the right price.
But the Packers had to bring back Crosby. Is he maddening sometimes? Yes, most kickers who aren't named Adam Vinatieri or Ryan Longwell are. But Crosby is a proven commodity at a position that doesn't have 32 capable players around the league. Look no further than last year's Steelers, who cut longtime kicker Jeff Reed during the season and went with Steve Suisham. Suisham was a disaster and proved it in the post-season.
The last thing a Super Bowl contender wants to deal with is uncertainty at kicker. Crosby is comfortable in the chilly climate and for the first time will have a holder for two consecutive season. Punter Tim Masthay was a revelation as a punter and will provide consistency for Crosby on FGs and PATs.
Toss in the fact that kickoffs are moving up five yards and the one negative on Crosby is eliminated. He should be able to get it into the end zone most of the time now, putting less pressure on the Pack's mediocre kickoff coverage unit.
The money was a bit of a surprise: Just under $15 million over five years, with three million guaranteed puts him near the top in the league. But there's no reason to quibble: the Pack will have consistency in the kicking game for years.
As for the remaining free agents? I'm guessing Thompson will wait to see what the market looks like for those guys. John Kuhn is likely the next Thompson target, unless a team blows him away with an offer.
Lots of Packer, Viking and NFL talk on KFAN and kfan.com this afternoon. I'm filling in for Dan Barreiro from 3 to 6:30 today.