The Green Bay Packers, a team that is unsettled at several positions, have taken care of at least one for right now. Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel is reporting that the team has released place kicker Dave Rayner and will hold on to sixth-round draft choice Mason Crosby. This development is a mild surprise as both kickers had strong training camps. Rayner and his agent, Paul Sheehy were told by the Packers that both kickers kicked to a draw (whatever that means). What’s interesting is that neither Rayner or his agent were told by the team why Rayner was released.
But Sheehy added (and I agree), “I think in their mind they were about equal. But they used a draft pick on him (Crosby) and that’s a valuable thing. You don’t like to cut draft picks.” I would venture to guess that Crosby probably had the stronger leg of the two, as well. Crosby’s agent, Mike McCartney, agreed about the draft pick theory that Sheehy talked about but also added, “It was great for Mason. He will be more battle-tested than any rookie in recent years. It’s going to be very beneficial. I think it’s a tribute to how Dave and Mason competed. They’re both going to be very successful this year.”
As in most seasons, there is a kicker’s market out there and Rayner should draw some interest. Several teams, according to a source, either have or had plans to bring in Rayner for a tryout. Those teams are the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Atlanta and Kansas City; the Cincinnati Bengals may have some interest as well, especially since their current kicker, Shayne Graham, is out with a hip pointer. Regardless, I expect Rayner to land on his feet (no pun intended) with a team before Week One of the regular season.