As soon as the Green Bay Packers signed defensive end Mike Daniels, kicker Mason Crosby became their top free agent priority.
Now that the window for teams to use their franchise or transition tags (4 p.m. ET, Tuesday) on players has passed, it appears the Packers will roll the dice with Crosby.
Crosby will hit free agency on March 9, unless the Packers can reach a new deal with him before then.
This wasn’t totally unexpected, even though Crosby appears to be only remaining must-sign of the Packers’ 2016 free agent class. The franchise tag would have cost the Packers $4.572 million in 2016.
Crosby’s last contract paid him an average of $2.95 million per season. The franchise number would have not only meant a substantial raise, but would have also made Crosby the highest-paid kicker in the game.
That’s an honor he would have shared with Baltimore’s Justin Tucker, who did get slapped with the franchise tag. Previously, New England’s Stephen Gostkowski held the honor with an average salary of $4.3 million.
As has been discussed previously, Crosby’s resume isn’t nearly that of Gostkowski’s.
Nevertheless, the Packers want Crosby back and he’s expressed a desire to return. He’ll likely want to be compensated as a top-five kicker to do so, however.
Currently, Minnesota’s Blair Walsh is the fifth-highest-paid kicker at $3.25 million annually. Fourth is Chicago’s Robbie Gould at $3.75 million annually.
That’s most likely the ballpark we’re looking at here.
It’s not time to panic, of course.
You don’t have to look further than last year to see two negotiations the Packers let go right down the wire. They finalized their contracts with receiver Randall Cobb and tackle Bryan Bulaga during the two-day window prior to free agency when other teams are allowed to begin negotiating with outside free agents.
The clock is officially ticking.
If they lose him, the Packers will have the worst Punter/Kicker combo in the league. Masthay is one of the worst punters in the league.
The Pack would have tagged Crosby if they weren’t close to an agreement. This will be done soon.
We can always have Jeff Janis kick he was kick 120 into 50mph winds in warmups last year with 10 years to spare.
Is there a petition to sign so they cut the punter? I can’t say his name without cringing. When he kicks EVERY Packer fan waits for the shank to come. When the rare non shank comes it’s a 40 yard gross kick with 3 seconds of hang time and we all celebrate a non shank. He sucks and has for a while. I’m ready for BJ Sanders to come back.
It’s a done deal. 4 more years in Green Bay.
Masthay isn’t that bad. The guy had a shit year but so did Crosby once and well, here we are.