A twist to the kicking competition

GREEN BAY, Wis. – Remember when we told you last week that Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson was noncommittal when asked if he was sure he had his opening-day kicker on his roster?

Now we know why.

In a twist to the kicking competition between incumbent Mason Crosby and challenger Giorgio Tavecchio, the Packers on Sunday signed rookie kicker Zach Ramirez of Portland State. He was with the Seattle Seahawks briefly this spring as a tryout player in their rookie minicamp.

What’s perhaps most surprising about the move is that neither Crosby nor Tavecchio was released, meaning the Packers have as many kickers on their roster as they do quarterbacks.

Also on Sunday, they made the release of quarterback Graham Harrell official. They also released receiver Alex Gillett, receiver Omarius Hines, running back Angelo Pease, defensive tackle Gilbert Pena and receiver Justin Wilson.

We’ll have more about Ramirez and the entire kicking situation after this afternoon’s practice.