Packers sign kicking competition for Mason Crosby

Chris Humphreys-US PRESSWIRE

The Green Bay Packers have signed kicker Giorgio Tavecchio to compete with Mason Crosby, who had a down year in 2012.

The Green Bay Packers have signed kicker Giorgio Tavecchio to come in and compete with Mason Crosby, according to John Breech of CBS Sports. Tavecchio played four years at the University of California, and spent last year's training camp with the San Francisco 49ers before being released in favor of David Akers, who was coming off the best season of his career.

If Crosby is anything like he was last season however, Tavecchio might just have a shot of making it onto an NFL roster for the regular season. Crosby had the worst season of his career, making a career-low 21 field goals off of 33 attempts, which equates to just a 63.6 percentage.

His previous career low was 75 percent in 2009, and he missed that mark by more than 10 percentage points, which is staggering at this point.

Drafted in the sixth round of the 2007 NFL Draft, Crosby was brought in for his strong leg and not his accuracy. He has has arguably the strongest leg in the NFL but no team in the league wants to enter the season with a kicker they don't have confidence in, especially if that kicker had a sub-65 percent conversion percentage on his field goal tries.

Tavecchio converted 48 of 64 field goal attempts during his four years at California and should bring some solid competition to Crosby, who has had the job locked down since being drafted. It will be interesting to see if this is just to light a fire under Crosby to get him back on track or if the Packers believe Tavecchio could provide actual competition or the roster spot through training camp and preseason.

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