Despite draft picks, Packers not closing door on Mason Crosby, Adrian Amos
Despite the Green Bay Packers selecting kicker Anders Carlson in the sixth round and safety Anthony Johnson Jr. in the seventh round, general manager Brian Gutekunst isn’t ruling out free agent Mason Crosby as an option at kicker and free agent Adrian Amos at safety.
Gutekunst on Crosby: “I’ve praised Mason up here a bunch, and what he’s done for our organization, and we’re never going to close the door on that.”
Gutekunst on Amos: “We’re not going to close the door on that, Adrian has done such a nice job for us over the last four years. We’ve been in communication with him along the way. We’ll see where that goes…Adrian, he played at a high level for a long time, played at a high level for us last year, so we wouldn’t close the door on that yet.”
Carlson was the team’s first draft pick at kicker since Crosby, the 193rd pick in the sixth round of the 2007 draft.
In Carlson, the Packers think they have an ascending kicker talent who is finally healthy after two injury-plagued seasons in 2021 (ACL) and 2022 (shoulder). He was an All-American in 2020 but has struggled with consistency since, especially from long range. Special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia worked with his older brother, Daniel, in Las Vegas, and he also spent time with Anders at Auburn before the draft. Gutekunst admitted Bisaccia’s familarity and confidence in Carlson greatly impacted the decision to make him a sixth-round pick.
In a weak safety class, the Packers waited until deep into the seventh round to make a pick at the position.
A seventh-round pick doesn’t usually impact roster plans for a season, but Johnson Jr. has the experience (played in over 60 games at Iowa State) and coverage ability to play rotational snaps right away as a rookie. The Packers also re-signed Rudy Ford and Dallin Leavitt, signed Tarvarius Moore and are moving Darnell Savage back to safety, so the depth chart is getting a little crowded.
Crosby turns 39 later this year and would need a decent salary to return. Amos turned 30 on Saturday and is coming off a disappointing 2022 season.
It’s possible the Packers will want to get a long look at the young, new options at kicker and safety before deciding on whether or not to bring back Crosby and Amos for 2023. The Packers don’t want to say they are rebuilding, but this is a young team in transition, and developing the future — especially after making two draft picks — might trump spending money on retaining two veterans.
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