The Washington Football Team will re-sign kicker Dustin Hopkins, per JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washington. No financial terms are available yet, but the deal is expected to be announced later this week.
Hopkins had a rocky start to his pro career. After being selected by the Bills in the sixth round of the 2013 draft, the Florida State product won Buffalo’s placekicking job as a rookie but suffered a groin injury before the season got underway. He missed the entire 2013 season and then lost his roster spot the following summer, ultimately catching on with the Saints’ taxi squad toward the end of 2014.
He lost New Orleans’ kicking battle in the summer of 2015, but he finally found a home with Washington. He has served as WFT’s kicker for the last six seasons and just wrapped up a three-year, $6.875M contract that he signed right before free agency opened in March 2018.
Hopkins, 30, did not disappoint in his first year under the new deal, sinking nearly 89.7% of his field-goal tries in 2018 and 96.2% of his extra-point attempts (both career-highs). But he regressed a bit in 2019 and cratered in 2020, struggling to a 79.4% field-goal percentage last season (25th in the league). That wasn’t an ideal platform campaign, but WFT was willing to bring him back just the same.
Still, it probably won’t be a hugely lucrative contract, and the club could look to bring in some outside competition as well. In the meantime, Finlay suggests that Washington could try to lock up cornerback Ronald Darby before free agency opens on Wednesday.