KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Mason Crosby has taken a pay cut to remain with the Green Bay Packers, and while the much-maligned kicker can make up the money he gave up through incentives, he’ll need to match the best season of his career to get it all back.
Crosby, who was scheduled to earn a base salary of $2.4 million in 2013 as part of the five-year, $14.75 million deal he signed in July 2011, will now earn a base salary of $800,000. Yahoo! Sports was first to report the news.
According to a source with access to NFL Players Association contract information, Crosby’s base salary will become fully guaranteed for the season if he’s on the roster on Saturday, Sept. 7 – the day before the Packers open the season at San Francisco.
But, by staying on the roster and improving on his accuracy, Crosby can make some – if not all – of the $1.6 million he gave up back.
“Mason had zero interest in leaving the Packers,” Crosby’s agent, Mike McCartney, told ESPN.com’s Rob Demovsky. “He is really confident that last year is behind him.”
According to the source, Crosby will receive a $400,000 roster bonus if he’s on the roster for Week 5 of the season and another $400,000 roster bonus if he’s on the roster for Week 10.
Then, Crosby can earn another $800,000 back in performance-based incentives.
After the season, if he’s made 75 percent of his field-goal attempts – something he failed to do last year – he would earn another $200,000 back. If he makes 80 percent of his field-goal attempts, he’d make back another $200,000. And if he made 85 percent of his attempts – something he’s only done once in his career, in 2011 – he’d make another $400,000 back.
Crosby made just 63.6 percent of his field-goal attempts in the regular season last year but held off Giorgio Tavecchio and late arrival Zach Ramirez to keep his job. Crosby is the only kicker on the Packers’ roster entering Thursday night’s preseason finale against Kansas City.
In 2011, Crosby had his best year, making 24 of 28 field-goal attempts (85.7 percent). If he matches that performance, he’ll have earned every penny he was scheduled to be paid.
For his career, however, Crosby’s accuracy is 76.8 percent, thanks in part to last year’s struggles. In his first four seasons, Crosby made 107 of 137 attempts for a success rate of 78.1 percent.
Crosby made 79.5 percent of his kicks in 2007; 79.4 percent in 2008; 75 percent in 2009; and 78.6 percent in 2010.
The deal protects the Packers in that, if Crosby struggles again after the season begins and is released by Week 5, he’d only cost them $800,000 – or $1.2 million if he struggled and was cut before Week 10. And if Crosby kicks like he did in 2011, the Packers will happily wind up paying him his full salary.
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