Monday, August 19, 2013
Dustin Hopkins wins Bills' kicking job
By Mike Rodak
The Buffalo Bills released long-time kicker Rian Lindell on Monday morning, the team announced.
Even after 10 seasons with the team, the writing for Lindell's departure had been on the wall after the Bills drafted kicker Dustin Hopkins in the sixth round in April.
Lindell performed well this preseason, with three of his four kickoffs reaching the opposing end zone. In his only field-goal attempt, Lindell converted from 30 yards.
But at 36 years old and with a $2.1 million base salary, it was tough to see Lindell in the Bills' plans once Hopkins was added.
Hopkins, 22, has a $405,000 base salary and was perfect on his field goals in the first two preseason games (24, 23, 39, and 35 yards).
In four seasons at Florida State, Hopkins became the NCAA's all-time leader in points (466) and field goals made (88). In 2012, he was named to the first-team All-ACC and was a finalist for the Lou Groza Award for the nation's best kicker.
But among Seminoles, Hopkins won't be alone in the Bills' special teams room.
Punter Shawn Powell and long snapper Garrison Sanborn also played at Florida State, although Sanborn graduated in 2009, the spring before Hopkins arrived in Tallahassee.
With Sanborn one of the NFL's better long snappers and Powell locking in his job earlier in training camp, the Bills' all-Seminole specialists can expect to spend at least this upcoming season together.