Packers News: Kickalicious works out for Green Bay

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Havard Rugland was in Green Bay for a workout on Friday morning, according to his Twitter account.
Havard Rugland was in Green Bay for a workout on Friday morning, according to his Twitter account.

According to Havard Rugland’s official Twitter account, the Green Bay Packers worked out the YouTube sensation known as “Kickalicious” on Friday morning.

Rugland spent the summer as a member of the Detroit Lions, but he was cut after being beaten out by established veteran David Akers. Akers, 38, will fill in for 43-year-old Jason Hanson who recently retired after 21 seasons in the NFL.

The workout seems surprising, considering the team just restructured kicker Mason Crosby’s contract this week. After bringing in Giorgio Tavecchio and Zach Ramirez to challenge Crosby for the job, the Packers turned to financial motivation for their placekicker.

The team bringing Rugland in for a workout could mean trouble for Crosby, especially if the Packers ever have an opportunity to punt the ball through the uprights from 90 yards away. Or kick a ball to a dude standing in a boat on the Fox River.

In all likelihood, the Packers are likely seeing what else is on the free-agent market in case Crosby struggles to start the 2013 season. It’s highly unlikely that the team would replace Crosby after restructuring to an incentive-based deal Thursday.

Through four preseason games, Crosby was a perfect 6-for-6, including a long of 48 yards. After a thoroughly unimpressive Family Night scrimmage, Crosby separated himself from Tavecchio and Ramirez late in training camp.

For now, it would be a surprise if anyone not named Crosby was the kicker to start the season. But again, the Packers appear to be preparing themselves for a backup plan should Crosby falter early in the season.

In three preseason games with the Lions, Kickalicious was three-for-three on field goals with a long of 50 yards. He also converted both of his extra point attempts.

One additional interesting fact: Every NFL team is allowed to add one international player to their practice squad, as a ninth member. However, that international player can not be signed to an NFL contract with any team while on a practice squad. here are the full rules:

Section 1. Practice Squads:

  • (a) The League may elect in any League Year in accordance with this Article to establish Practice Squads not to exceed eight (8) players per Club. The League’s election in any one season shall not determine or affect its election in any subsequent season.
  • (b) The League may elect to allow some or all Clubs to add to their Practice Squads one additional player, who shall not count against the limit above, whose citizenship and principal place of residence are outside the United States and its Territories (“International Player”). The League’s election in any one season shall not determine or affect its election in any subsequent season. Such International Players shall be subject to the same terms and conditions of employment that apply to other Practice Squad players except that they (1) may not, during the term of their Practice Squad Contract, negotiate or sign an NFL Player Contract with any Club; and (2) may not practice with any Club following the last Conference Championship Game unless both Conference Champion-ship teams have such a player. In addition, notwithstanding the provisions of Section 4 below, such International Player shall be eligible to serve on a Practice Squad for three additional seasons after the completion of the player’s year(s) as an International Player. As set forth in Section 3 below, the weekly salary for such International Players shall not be included in the employing Club’s Team Salary and shall instead be deducted from the calculation of the Salary Cap in the same manner as any Player Benefit Cost.

Finally, in case you’ve  just returned from being stranded on a desert island for years (or you just want to see it again), here’s the video that made him famous:

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Follow @MJEversoll

Marques is a Journalism student, serving as the Sports Editor of UW-Green Bay\'s campus newspaper The Fourth Estate and a Packers writer at Jersey Al\'s AllGBP.com. Follow Marques on Twitter @MJEversoll.

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  • http://Allpackers.com Nick Perry

    I think it’s quite clear the Packers aren’t sold on Crosby, not in the least.

    • White92

      Agreed. At least this year they are doing something about it. I don’t think the pay cut necessarily protects him from getting cut either.

      • Barutan Seijin

        I read the restructured contract as making it easier to cut him. It must have been pitched to him as an offer he couldn’t refuse.

  • http://www.lyrictrumpet.com Bearmeat

    They’re just protecting themselves in the (eventuality) case of Crosby’s struggles continuing.

  • Archie

    Both tryouts are very interesting. I am assuming they are part of a portfolio of Plan Bs. One slip up by Crosby or Ross and they are gone. Remember Jeron Cherry.

    • Rick from CA

      Does anyone know how well this guy did kicking for the Lions? % made, distances, any stats??

      • Marques Eversoll

        In 3 preseason games, he was 3-3 on FGs with a long of 50. I’ll put that on the post.

  • http://butlerrf@msn.com old time packer fan

    I would think someone would pick this guy up (Rugland) he looks pretty good. I really think the Packers have bigger problems than kicker right now. Who’s our backup QB going to be? I guess they figure if Rogers goes down it’s all over anyway. Do we have ANY running game. So far it looks worse than last year, still a lot of injured guys, particularly some high draft picks that we’re getting no production from. I guess they’ll figure it out, hopefully before Detroit & Chicago do.

    • John Zoul

      Crosby is the worst kicker in the NFL…he should have been cut, in favor of Taveccchio…
      Vince Young has a slower release than Tim Tebow and is an inaccurate passer…Good move to release him…I imagine we’ll pick-up another QB for the 53-man roster or for the PS in the next 2-3 days…
      We needed to upgrade our Offensive line to replace EDS, TJ Lang, and Marshall Newhouse…All below average players, who at best, would be back-ups on other good teams. Bakhtiari looks like an upgrade, standing pat on the other two, IMHO will prove to be a mistake. Dallas was smart to draft a stud Center to start immediately, to upgrade their center position. We picked-up an UDFA who will most likely be placed on the PS (Patrick Lewis)…
      Losing DuJuan Harris was a big loss. San Fran has an excellent O-Line…ours is below average…The first game may turn into a rout…
      Our defense looks improved, thanks mainly to adding Johnny Jolly and Datone Jones…
      Let me sum-up:
      1. Worst kicker in the NFL
      2. Below average Offensive Line
      3. Improved Defensive Line
      4. Question marks for second safety position, depth at WR, and back-up QB…
      5. Detroit is improved, as are both Minnesota and Chicago…
      6. Our defense is going to have to be much better this year for us to win ten games…
      7. To improve your running game, when you could not run the previous few years, means you must improve the offensive line…we have not done that.

  • John Zoul

    Let’s see…Crosby was the worst kicker in the NFL last season…the worst…Tavecchio kicks a higher percentage than him, so we release Tavecchio…then, we bring in Ramirez, who has just flown in from the West Coast, give him one chance, he does poorly, so, we immediately release him…?…Crosby is still the worst kicker in the NFL…What do they not understand?…

  • Jeff Lawver

    O line is a real concern. Loss of Bulaga a big blow. Hopefully the D as a whole will be better this year. Have little or no faith in Crosby.