Crosby agrees to kick it with Packers for five more seasons

MILWAUKEE -- With a new deal for Mason Crosby, the Green Bay Packers' kicking game is set for training camp.

Crosby agreed to terms on a five-year contract with the Super Bowl champions, agent Mike McCartney told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

In four seasons with the Packers, Crosby has made 78.1 percent of his kicks and missed only one career extra point. While Crosby's overall field goal percentage is low for a kicker on one of the NFL's elite teams, kicking conditions can be tricky at Lambeau Field -- and Crosby's numbers are skewed by a relatively high number of attempts longer than 50 yards.

Crosby is 10-for-21 from 50-plus yards, and he has missed only one career field goal of 29 yards or less.

Crosby made 78.6 percent of his kicks last season and hit a career-high, 56-yard field goal in the season opener against Philadelphia.

With training camp set to open Friday, the Packers' roster is slowly taking shape. On Tuesday, the team told veteran linebacker Nick Barnett that he would not be returning. A.J. Hawk and Desmond Bishop are expected to be the team's starting inside linebackers, and Barnett is coming off a season-ending wrist injury -- although Barnett said Tuesday that his wrist is fully healed and he could play right away.

Teams cannot release players until Thursday afternoon. The Packers can try to trade Barnett before then, but such a deal seems unlikely.

Packers general manager Ted Thompson typically isn't very active in free agency, and it would be surprising to see the Packers go after any of the marquee players on the market -- especially with so many good players returning from injury to a team that won the Super Bowl last season.

But the Packers must make decisions on the status of several of their own free agents, including starting left guard Daryn Colledge, wide receiver James Jones and running backs Brandon Jackson and John Kuhn.

Kuhn, who became something of a folk hero among Packers fans as he showed surprising ability to find yards late last season, is open to returning to Green Bay but has said he will test the free-agent market.

Defensive end Cullen Jenkins also is a free agent but is expected to draw considerable interest from other teams. Mike Neal, a second-round draft pick whose rookie season ended because of a shoulder injury, is expected to take Jenkins' place if his injury has fully healed.

The Packers also are expected to bring in several undrafted free agents -- including Utah wide receiver Shaky Smithson, one of the nation's top punt and kick returners last season -- but have not formally announced any signings.

The Packers will hold their annual shareholders meeting at Lambeau Field on Thursday. Camp opens Friday, with the first practice Saturday.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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