Packers retain stability in kicking game by re-signing Mason Crosby to 3-year deal
GREEN BAY - Coming off one of the best and undoubtedly most difficult seasons of his career, Green Bay Packers kicker Mason Crosby took all the suspense out of his future plans when he agreed to a three-year contract extension with the team Saturday.
Crosby’s agent Mike McCartney made the announcement, posting on Twitter: “Big day for former Colorado Buffs. Congrats to @crosbykicks2 agreeing to a 3 year contract with the @packers. 14th year in GB!”
Crosby, who turns 36 in September, was slated to become a free agent March 18 and could have shopped himself around the league, perhaps in pursuit of a warmer climate or indoor stadium to help him prolong his career.
But Crosby, a sixth-round pick out of Colorado in 2007, apparently had no intention of playing anywhere else. Most players who make it to January without signing an extension figure they might as well test the market to see what kind of deal they can get.
Crosby's contract is three years for $12.9 million, according to a league source. He will receive $6 million in the first year and $9.5 million through year two.
The deal makes him the third-highest-paid field goal kicker in terms of yearly average ($4.3 million). Only the Ravens' Justin Tucker ($5 million) and the 49ers' Robbie Gould ($4.75 million) make more.
Given the season he had and the support he received from teammates and the organization during a personally trying year, it’s possible he had no intention of leaving. Crosby’s wife, Molly, had surgery in the summer to treat a tumor and blood clot and his sister-in-law, Brittany, died from ovarian cancer Nov. 29 at age 30.
Crosby maintained his focus and had one of the best seasons of his career, connecting on 22 of 24 field-goal attempts (91.7%), which ranked fifth in the NFL. It was the highest field goal percentage for a Packers kicker since Ryan Longwell ranked No. 4 in 2003.
Not only did he excel kicking field goals, he set a career-high with a touchback percentage of 62.0%.
He was named a first alternate for the Pro Bowl. He did not attempt any field goals in the postseason and hit all six of his extra points.
On Friday, general manager Brian Gutekunst expressed his desire to keep Crosby in Green Bay.
“I think when you have a guy who has been through the fire like Mason has, for a guy in my position it makes us feel very comfortable,” Gutekunst said. “He obviously had an excellent year last year. He's a big part of our team, a big part of what we're trying to do here. I'm very hopeful that that will reach the right ending.”
Crosby made $3.6 million in the final year of a four-year, $16.1 million deal he signed on March 2, 2016. This will be the fourth contract Crosby has signed with the Packers, including a five-year, $14 million deal in 2011. He was forced to accept a pay cut in 2013 after suffering through the worst year of his career, but he never held it against the Packers.
With Crosby being a Texas native, it wouldn’t have been surprising if he had explored the possibility of playing for the Dallas Cowboys, who hired his former coach, Mike McCarthy, in January. It would have given him a chance to be closer to his brother, who lives in Georgetown, Texas, as well as escape the winter conditions that can be a kicker’s worst nightmare.
But Crosby has long accepted that his challenge is a little more difficult than many other kickers. He and Molly own a home in Green Bay despite spending part of the offseason in Texas.
In 2018, Crosby missed five kicks inside Ford Field in an excruciating loss at Detroit that cost them a critical division game. But he came back in 2019 and hit a 23-yard game-winning field goal with no time left at Lambeau Field Oct. 14, and a 33-yarder with no time left at Ford Field in the regular-season finale.
The kick in Detroit clinched a first-round bye for the Packers in the playoffs.
"Just so thankful," Crosby said after the game. "I have so much to be thankful for. My heart’s been heavy this year. Every time I step on the field, I’m carrying a lot with me, so just give praise to where it belongs. My faith has gotten me through so much this past year and so, yeah, it just means so much."
For his career, Crosby has connected on 329 of 406 of field goals (81.0%), ranking just behind Longwell (81.6%) for the franchise lead.
He ranks No. 1 on the all-time franchise scoring list with 1,469 points, surpassing Longwell (1,054) in 2015. He is also the all-time franchise leader in field goals (307), 50-yard field goals (34) and extra points (548).
He has not missed a game in his career, playing in 192 straight contests in the regular season, the second-longest streak in franchise history behind Brett Favre’s 255.