Mason Crosby has a new contract and a new outlook.
“I feel great,” Crosby said after booting field goals of 48 and 45 yards in a 30-8 loss at Kansas City on Thursday night. “It was a lot of kicks this week, but I’m thankful because I think it got me to a good point. I went what, 24-of-25 (at practice) this week, with a lot of long kicks. Just see a lot of reps behind the line for observation. I felt great about how I hit the ball today and I’m really happy with where I’m at. I feel awesome about this season. It’s tough, even in preseason you hate losing, but I’m excited to move forward to see what we can do.”
On Wednesday, Crosby agreed to a restructured contract that slashed his base salary from $2.4 million to $800,000. That salary will be guaranteed if he’s on the Week 1 roster, which is a certainty after Thursday night. He’s got a chance to recoup all of the lost salary through incentives.
“As long as I go about my business, it’s a moot point,” he said.
Crosby didn’t have much choice but to accept the new deal — which only impacts 2013 and doesn’t change the final two years of the deal (base salaries of $2.65 million in 2014 and $2.8 million in 2015).
The Packers had the worst field-goal percentage in the league last season, with Crosby making just 21-of-33 attempts. He’s had a good training camp but had two major hiccups — his 3-for-8 Family Night and the three consecutive misses at practice last week that led to the signing of Zach Ramirez.
Giorgio Tavecchio remains a free agent and there almost certainly will be a proven veteran or two released when teams make their final cuts on Saturday.
Besides, the Packers have stuck with Crosby through thick and thin. Crosby wants to repay the Packers for their loyalty.
“I feel great about where I’m at,” Crosby said. ‘It lowered my base salary but I have every opportunity to make that back as long as I perform and do my job. For me, it’s all right there in front of me . I’m looking forward to this season because I feel as good as I ever have. I just feel really good about my process, the way I’m hitting the ball. The ball’s going through the uprights, and that’s what matters at the end of the day.”
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.