Crosby will have competition for kicking job
MAR 26, 2013 11:03a ET
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Mason Crosby will be challenged next season for the Packers' kicking job. The website for NFL agent Dave Sofaer has confirmed that Green Bay signed his client, kicker Giorgio Tavecchio, to a three-year deal.
Packers return specialist Jeremy Ross, who played at the University of California with Tavecchio, first mentioned the news publicly in a tweet to quarterback Aaron Rodgers, another California alumnus.
"We got another Cal Bear coming to Green Bay bruh," Ross wrote to Rodgers. "Giorgio Tavecchio Kicker, we takin over #CaliSwagg #GoBears"
Ross' final hashtag, of course, is referring to the California Golden Bears and not the Packers' division-rival Chicago Bears.
In college, Tavecchio connected on 48 of his 64 field-goal attempts (75.0 percent) in four years. His senior season – in which he made 20 of 23 field goals (87.0 percent) – was by far his best.
Tavecchio, who is from Milan, Italy, signed with the San Francisco 49ers as an undrafted free agent in 2012 but was cut in training camp.
Crosby, 28, is coming off a season in which he made only 21 of 33 attempts (63.6 percent), the worst mark in the entire NFL. It was also the worst year of Crosby's career by a substantial margin; previously, he had never fallen below 75 percent.
Crosby especially struggled on field goals from 50-plus yards out, connecting on just 2 of 9 in 2012. Tavecchio was 3 of 4 from that deep range in his four years at California, with his only miss coming his freshman season.
All throughout last season, no matter how many misses piled up for Crosby, coach Mike McCarthy stuck with his kicker. But now, for the first time in five years, the Packers will have competition in training camp for Crosby, a sixth-round pick in 2007.
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