We’ve said it before. Mason Crosby has to be the Green Bay Packers highest-priority free agent this offseason.
He’s the only one on the list who’s any sort of consistent.
I mean, we know you love B.J. Raji for whatever reason, but his fat ass shows up for a play and then takes the next six games off.
Crosby, meanwhile, has hit more than 80 percent of his field goal attempts in the past three seasons. He’s 84 of 98 in that stretch. He also hasn’t missed a field goal in the playoffs since 2010.
We’re not going to suggest Crosby is one of the best kickers in the game. He’s never been an All Pro or made a Pro Bowl. However, he also plays in Green Bay, where it’s cold as a witch’s tit most of the time and succeeds despite that.
There’s something to be said for that and you can bet your ass Crosby’s agent is saying it.
Crosby has already said he wants to return. There’s no reason the Packers shouldn’t want him back, but you know it’s not going to be that simple.
Crosby’s last contract paid him an average of $2.95 million. He surely wants a raise, probably in the area of the $4.3 million annually New England’s Stephen Gostkowski is paid.
Gostkowski is a year younger than Crosby and has four more Pro Bowl selections and two more first-team All Pro selections than Crosby. Gostkowski also owns a 87.3 career field goal percentage. Crosby’s is 79.7.
Getting paid isn’t about being the best in the NFL though. It’s about when you’re a free agent and what the market dictates.
We know this about the Packers. They like to lowball guys, offering less while selling players on playoff appearances and history.
The Packers will also be using the leverage that they have other kickers to choose from. Baltimore’s Justin Tucker, Denver’s Brandon McManus and Cleveland’s Travis Coons are scheduled to be free agents. All hit above 80 percent of their kicks in 2015.
Our bet is Crosby returns, but lands somewhere near the average salary of his NFC North brethren. Chicago’s Robbie Gould makes $3.75 million annually and Minnesota’s Blair Walsh makes $3.25 million annually.
Not a big raise by NFL standards, but certainly big enough for a kicker.