With the 177th pick (6th round) of last year’s draft the Bills selected Dustin Hopkins out of Florida State. A surprise to some but for others the Bills needed to get a guy that had a leg. Throughout training camp he battled incumbent kicker Rian Lindell. Lindell had been the kicker on this team for nine years but little did he know a tenth wasn’t in his future.
Hopkins had won the camp battle against Lindell and was on his way until an injury put a stop to it. Just before the start to this past season a groin injury prompted the Bills to look outside for a new kicker. Before many people even knew what was going on the Bills had Dan Carpenter now on their roster. Ever since that first game he impressed not only the coaching staff but the fans as well. Not completely knowing Hopkins status no one truly knew what was going to happen until we reached week five. From there it was said his recovery wasn’t coming along as planned and as a result was placed on injured reserve.
Now knowing his role with this club Dan just continued to cruise as this team’s kicker. Reliable, having the leg to kick in all conditions is what this team needed and had it with him.
After only missing 3 attempts out of 36 (long 55) we will now wait to see if the Bills will offer him another contract. It was said at the end of the year press conference that they would but we’ll have to watch and see how it will play out.
A question will be what if one is offered and Carpenter refuses? What if he wants to play for a contender in his eyes or even a city with better weather? Does Hopkins stick around knowing he was their second choice or does that not matter? Time will tell and it’s only the kicker nevertheless I’d feel better if Carpenter is back here next season.
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