It's been an eventful week for Packers kicker Mason Crosby. Sunday, he came out on top in one of the strangest three-way kicking competitions that you'll ever see. Two days later, Crosby went a perfect 14-for-14 while his newly signed competitor implodes for 6-of-16. By Tuesday, there was no other kicker on the roster.
Normally when a player wins a position battle, he gains leverage in future negotiations. However, according to Brian McIntyre of Yahoo! Sports, Crosby's efforts have instead netted him a sizable pay cut:
Crosby had been scheduled to earn $2.4 million in base salary during the 2013 season. Under the restructured contract, Crosby will earn $800,000 in base salary, which will be fully guaranteed if he's on the team's roster on Saturday, Sept. 7. Crosby can make up the $1.6 million difference via roster bonuses throughout the season and through performance incentives.
On the surface, this contract alteration appears to buy Crosby some security. However, the base salary only becomes guaranteed if he's still on the team the day before the Packers' first game. Should Crosby struggle in tonight's preseason game or in practice prior to the game against the 49ers, he could still be let go with negligible consequences.
Even if Crosby is on the roster on September 7th, Crosby's $800,000 base salary is not so cost-inhibitive to prevent the team from making a move later on. In that sense, Crosby will be on probation the entire season.
Hopefully, Crosby has put his 2012 struggles behind him. If he hasn't, the Packers will still have an out.
Jason Hirschhorn covers the Green Bay Packers for Acme Packing Co. He has previously written for Lombardi Ave, College Hoops Net, LiveBall Sports, and the List Universe. He is also currently a senior writer for Beats Per Minute, an indie-music webzine. Follow him on Twitter: @JBHirschhorn