Are Packers Ready To Retire Longwell? All Green Bay Packers All the Time
Ryan Longwell
Longwell will retire as a Green Bay Packer

We learned, today, that Ryan Longwell will retire as a member of the Green Bay Packers.  Players sometimes will sign a symbolic one-day contract with the team that they started with and so that they can finish up where the started.  Longwell spent his first nine NFL seasons with the Packers before joining the Minnesota Vikings for his final six.

Longwell holds many Packers records that still stand today.  The most notable is most points scored in Packers history, with 1,054.  While Longwell’s former teammate and former Packers quarterback Brett Favre was known for his consecutive games played streak, it is Longwell who holds the record for most consecutive games with a score, at 144.  Favre recently began to hint that he was getting closer to a return, of some sort, to the Packers and Longwell has decided to do the same.

While this is a “feel good” story and it’s always good to see a former standout member of the Packers return home to Green Bay, I have to wonder if the Packers feel the same way?  Not because there was any real bad blood between the team and Longwell.  Well, OK, there were a few interviews in support of Favre when he joined the Vikings in 2009.  I have always believed that kickers should never speak to the media and after those episodes, I really believe that.  And there was also the time he said that Applebee’s was “as good as it got” in Green Bay as far as restaurants, but I digress.  Is there an opportunity knocking (or kicking) here?

The state of the place kicking position in Green Bay has been shaky, at best, for the past year.  After a superb 2011 season, Packers kicker Mason Crosby has hit a wall, a brick wall, and can’t seem to shake what is ailing his kicking ability.  He posted the lowest conversion of any kicker last season and even caused Packers head coach Mike McCarthy to take more chances on fourth down instead of trying a reasonable field goal attempt.

Finally the team brought in some competition in that of undrafted free agent Giorgio Tavecchio.  But after a full offseason and a bit of preseason, it is clear that Tavecchio has some shortcomings of his own that may force the team to stick with Crosby.  Or perhaps when Longwell comes in to sign his retirement contract, the Packers hand him a pair of cleats, a uniform and a helmet instead?  He turns 39 later this week, but placekickers can still perform at a high level well into their 40’s.  I’m just sayin. . .

While he has a strong leg, Crosby’s accuracy has been atrocious of late.  It’s similar to what we saw from Tiger Woods when he returned to golf in 2010 after all of the drama surrounding his relationship with his now ex-wife.  Woods is just now seeming to take his old form, three and a half years later.  I have compared placekicking to golf before in that the mental aspect is extremely important.  I have to believe that a case of over-thinking has completely overtaken Crosby’s brain.  He’s incapable of doing the simple fundamental things that a kicker needs to do and that got him to the NFL level.  I’m reminded of this memory from a not-so-classic-sequel:



While my suggestion that the Packers see if Longwell is truly ready to retire is said in jest, the more I think about it, the more it sounds like a better idea than what they’re currently doing.


Jason Perone is an independent sports blogger writing about the Packers on

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14 thoughts on “Are Packers Ready To Retire Longwell?

  1. Al or anybody else, What were the specifics behind Longwell’s departure? Was money the only issue?

  2. I say sign him and see what he can do. He is better than Crosby. What have the Packers to lose by trying him out?

  3. I would hire Longwell as a consultant to work w/ Crosby and Tevechio during training camp! One of Longwells strengths is his strong mental approach, which is something I think Crosby could use help with. Hell even keep Longwell on the payroll for a year to get Crosby’s head straight, I don’t care. Crosby has the leg talent to be one of the best Kickers in the NFL. Longwell can help him get his mind right.

  4. Crosby is a head case, plain and simple. He’s hit over 80% of his kicks once in his NFL career. In his NFL career, he’s 50 of 59 from 30-39 yards, 38 of 54 from 40-49 yards, and 14 of 33 from 50 and beyond. All this crap that most of his misses come from 50 and beyond is BS. His 76.8% career rate is 29th among active kickers. After 6 years, if Crosby was ever going to be better than this, he would have by now. The only reason Crosby is still here can be summed up in three words. DEAD CAP MONEY. Thompson hates it and just needs to suck it up, admit he was wrong on this one and move on. A 3-8 Family Night proves Crosby is not over his slump. The season is only 16 games and when 1 game can mean so much (Remember Seattle last year), do you really want a kicker with career stats like this heading into the season? I sure don’t.

    1. To date, Crosby is the fourth most accurate kicker in Packers history, and that is with last year’s 10-game slump (he made his first five, and final six, attempts of the season, including the playoffs) included in the data.

      And, prior to last year, his career conversion percent was 79.4, which was only 2.2 behind Longwell’s Packer record 81.6!

      Crosby also holds the team record for consecutive field goals made with 23, nine more than Longwell’s longest streak.

      As Stroh said above, “Crosby has the leg talent to be one of the best Kickers in the NFL.”

      Sports history is filled with good athletes who have overcome prolonged slumps, and I, for one, am in favor of giving Mason this year to see if he can be one of them.

      1. Comparing him to other Packers kickers in the past is a very small sample set and one tainted if they have never had top-flight kickers. Compare him to the kickers in the rest of the league and he is easily in the lower third over his career. I’ve proven this out before…

        1. He also kicks in easily the worst kicking stadium in the NFL. Swirling winds in the bowl that are difficult to judge, a lot of cold weather games, naturalish turf, asked to kick a lot more 40+ and 50+ yd kicks than any kicker the past few years.

          I saw an article that took all those things and others into account, and while he wasn’t elite, he was rated just outside the top 10-12 in the NFL.

          1. That article by the way was prior to last year. So it obviously didn’t include easily his worst season.

          2. That 50+ yard FG in Indy wasn’t in swirling winds, it was in a dome. He missed that 20 YARDS wide. Even the announcers said that it was one of the worst efforts they’d ever saw. I agree, he’s got a hell of a strong leg, great at onside kicks but I think most would rather have someone fairly automatic from 45 yards, than someone who excels at onside kicks. He’s also only 50 of 59 from 30-39 yards and maybe that’s not unusual, but it’s also not real encouraging.

            1. Yeah your pointing out one kick… Way to prove a point on the basis of one kick. That certainly proves your right. I saw the kick and like I said that was prior to last years horrific performance. I’m not denying that’s what it was, but it also doesn’t mean he can’t get his head straight and turn into a very good Kicker. In the swirling wind of Lambeau nothing over 40 yds is a gimme. Maybe in a dome, but Lambeau is a far cry from a dome isn’t it?

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