Dustin Hopkins

Chargers Place K Dustin Hopkins On IR

Dustin Hopkins will miss at least four more games. The Chargers announced that they’ve placed the veteran kicker on injured reserve. Practice squad kicker Cameron Dicker has been signed to the active roster to take Hopkins’ place.

Hopkins has been sidelined since Week 6 with a hamstring injury. The Chargers kept him on the active roster for more than a month hoping he’d make a return, but with the team having already used their three PS elevations on Dicker, they needed to open up a roster spot. Hopkins will now be required to miss another four contests, making Week 16 the earliest possible return for the 32-year-old.

Hopkins put up career numbers after joining the Chargers last season, connecting on 90 percent of his field goal tries. He inked a three-year extension with the organization this past offseason. In six games this season, the veteran converted nine of his 1o field goal attempts and all 12 of his extra point tries.

Taylor Bertolet was the original fill-in for Hopkins, but a quadriceps injury forced the team to pivot to Dicker. The rookie has been perfect in his three games for the Chargers, connecting on all seven of his FG attempts and all six of his XP attempts. Dicker also got into a game with the Eagles earlier this year, converting all of his FG/XP tries. He’s made a pair of game-winning field goals this season, resulting in a pair of Special Teams Player of the Week honors.

AFC West Notes: Broncos, Kelce, Chargers

Already battling lat and shoulder issues while proceeding through a rocky navigation in Nathaniel Hackett‘s offense, Russell Wilson sustained a hamstring injury Monday night. The injury occurred during a fourth-quarter scramble, Wilson said. The Broncos are calling their quarterback day-to-day. But there is some concern about Wilson’s Week 7 availability, with Tom Pelissero of NFL.com adding this may be a “fairly significant” injury (Twitter link).

Wilson has only missed three games in 10-plus seasons; each came because of his finger injury last year. He has experienced a worse-than-expected acclimation process in Hackett’s offense, which has generated more than 20 points just once this season. Playing through multiple injuries likely will not help matters, but given Wilson’s career path, that should be the expectation. Here is the latest from the AFC West:

  • The Chiefs held less than $1MM in cap space at this time last week. They are now close to $4MM. Kansas City got there by restructuring Travis Kelce‘s contract for the second time this year. The move created $3.46MM in space, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. The Chiefs made the move last week, per CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson, who notes the team did so to have some additional room for practice squad promotions (Twitter link). Kelce remains signed through 2025.
  • Dustin Hopkins became the hero in another low-scoring Broncos primetime game Monday, making four field goals despite hurting his hamstring early in the contest. Brandon Staley said his kicker suffered a hamstring strain and is expected to miss two to four weeks. Taylor Bertolet, the Chargers‘ practice squad kicking option, will step in for the veteran leg. Hopkins, whom the Chargers added after Washington surprisingly cut him during the 2021 season, also missed Week 5 due to a quadriceps injury.
  • Bolts backup running back Joshua Kelley will miss time as well. Staley said Kelley sustained an MCL sprain during Monday’s game. The Chargers have used Kelley as an Austin Ekeler backup since drafting him in the 2020 fourth round. Sony Michel will have the team’s RB2 gig to himself for the time being, as it would not surprise to see Kelley land on IR.
  • The Broncos extended their Week 1 right tackle revolving door to 10 seasons, opening the campaign with Cameron Fleming in that spot. The two players the team signed to vie for the gig — Billy Turner and Tom Compton — began the season injured. Turner has returned and moved into the lineup during Monday’s game, sending Fleming to left tackle and Calvin Anderson (Garett Bolles‘ initial replacement) to the bench. But Compton remains on Denver’s PUP list. The veteran lineman is unlikely to debut for the Broncos until after their Week 9 bye, Troy Renck of Denver7 tweets. Compton, 33, signed a one-year, $2.25MM deal. He worked as the 49ers’ starting right tackle for much of last season, replacing the injured Mike McGlinchey.
  • Monday’s game also produced yet another Broncos ACL tear. An awkward collision with a media member on the sideline led to backup linebacker Aaron Patrick suffering that severe knee injury. The Broncos announced Patrick’s setback. Tim Patrick, Javonte Williams, Ronald Darby and running back Damarea Crockett have also suffered ACL tears since training camp. Primarily a special-teamer, Aaron Patrick is in his second season with the team. He arrived as a UDFA out of Eastern Kentucky.

Chargers Re-Signing K Dustin Hopkins

The Chargers were apparently satisfied after Dustin Hopkins‘ mid-year try out last season. The Chargers have agreed to a brand new three-year extension with their kicker, according to Adam Caplan of SiriusXM (on Twitter).

The deal is worth $9MM overall with incentives that can increase his total compensation to $12MM. Meanwhile, he’s already got upwards of $4.6MM locked in and guaranteed.

Washington released Hopkins six games into the 2021 campaign, leading him to the Bolts. He went on to nail 18-of-20 field goal tries in Los Angeles and 3o out of 32 XP attempts. It’s worth noting that his only two missed FGs came from 50+ yards away. Between the Commanders and the Chargers, Hopkins went 30-of-34 last year.

The Chargers have had something of a revolving door at the position over the last five years. Now, they hope to have some stability with Hopkins, who will look to improve on his career 84.6% rate.

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 1/1/22

Here are the New Year’s Day activations from and placements on the reserve/COVID-19 lists:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: G Oli Udoh

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: CB Bryce Hall

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Chargers Sign Dustin Hopkins, Waive Tristan Vizcaino

Following their Tuesday kicker workout, the Chargers are making a change at kicker. They signed Dustin Hopkins. To make room for the veteran on their roster, the Bolts cut incumbent Tristan Vizcaino.

Vizcaino beat out Michael Badgley for the Chargers’ kicker gig during the preseason but has struggled mightily with extra points this season. A second-year kicker, Vizcaino will land on the waiver wire.

Washington ended Hopkins’ six-plus-season tenure as their kicker last week, cutting him and going with the untested Chris Blewitt. A 2013 Bills draftee, Hopkins caught on with Washington in 2015 and signed new deals in both 2018 and 2021 to stay on in that role. He will now head to Los Angeles to kick for one of the AFC’s top teams.

After one game with the 49ers last season, Vizcaino made 6 of 7 field goals in his six-game Chargers run. But he accompanied that by connecting on just 10 of 15 PATs. Coming out of their Week 7 bye, the Bolts will have a more seasoned kicker in the 31-year-old Hopkins, who has been in the NFL since 2013.

Hopkins joined Elliott Fry at the Tuesday kicker workout but brings far more experience. This season, Hopkins has made 12 of 14 field goal tries and was 10 of 12 on PATs with Washington. The former sixth-round pick has made at least 81% of his field goal attempts in all but one season — 2020, when he came in at 79% — and has kicked in 93 career regular-season games.

Chargers Audition Dustin Hopkins, Elliott Fry

Coming out of their bye week, the Chargers are looking into their suspect kicker spot. They worked out both Dustin Hopkins and Elliott Fry on Tuesday, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.

Washington released Hopkins last week, opting to go with Chris Blewitt. Hopkins had been Washington’s kicker since 2015. The 31-year-old specialist profiles as an intriguing free agent, and the Chargers have seen newcomer Tristan Vizcaino struggle immensely in his first season with the gig.

Although Vizcaino is 6-for-7 on field goals, he has missed five extra points in six games. Beating out Michael Badgley for Los Angeles’ kicker post, Vizcaino is 10-for-15 on PATs, inviting obvious speculation about his status coming out of the Bolts’ bye. With the Chargers looking like one of the AFC’s top teams, they may try and acquire more stability at the kicker spot entering Week 8.

Fry fared well at this workout, Yates adds, noting the young specialist made 9 of 10 field goals, with his only miss coming from 64 yards (Twitter link). South Carolina’s kicker from 2013-16, Fry has logged many workouts and spent time on practice squads since his Gamecocks eligibility ceased. But he has played in just one game, with the 2020 Falcons, as a pro.

Hopkins made 86% of his field goal tries this season and has hovered around this success rate throughout his career, leading Washington to give him new deals in 2018 and this past offseason. Washington retained Hopkins on a one-year deal worth $2.5MM in March.

WFT To Re-Sign K Dustin Hopkins

The Washington Football Team will re-sign kicker Dustin Hopkins, per JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washington (via Twitter). NFL Insider Adam Caplan reports that it will be a one-year, $2.5MM pact with $1.9MM guaranteed (Twitter link).

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 sustained 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 towards 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, $6.875MM 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 PATs (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.

Now that one of their own priority FAs is back in the fold, Finlay suggests that Washington could try to lock up CB Ronald Darby before free agency opens on Wednesday (Twitter link).

Redskins Work Out 5 Kickers

Dustin Hopkins‘ availability for Week 11 appears to be in question, so the Redskins are getting an early start on examining replacement help.

With Hopkins “a bit banged up,” per Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter links), Washington brought in several kickers for a Tuesday workout.

Blair Walsh, Roberto Aguayo, Kai Forbath, Sam Ficken and Jon Brown participated, Yates reports. Of the quintet, only Ficken has kicked in a 2018 game. Walsh and Forbath had gigs last season, with the Seahawks and Vikings, respectively, while Aguayo has not kicked in a game since his rough 2016 season.

Forbath has a history with Washington, having been Hopkins’ predecessor. The UCLA product served as the Redskins’ kicker from 2012-14 before moving on to roles with the Saints and Vikings. The latter cut him this year, giving the job to rookie Daniel Carlson, whose grip on it lasted two games.

The Redskins went through this with Hopkins last season. He missed eight games in 2017, and Washington used Nick Rose as its kicker during that time. Rose is not believed to have been among today’s tryout contingent. Also perhaps soon to be available is Chandler Catanzaro, whom the Buccaneers sent to waivers on Monday. But his two misses Sunday helped the Redskins pick up a road win.

Extra Points: Sherman, 49ers, Talib, 49ers, Bucs, Greco

Richard Sherman has taken some flack for his one-year deal with the 49ers, but he has no regrets about acting as his own agent.

I don’t think any agent in the business could have done a better job of negotiating this contract,” Sherman told Peter King of The MMQB. “As long as I’m content with what I’m making, nothing else matters to me. Once I make a Pro Bowl, $8MM the next year is guaranteed for me. It gives me the ability to control my destiny. The 49ers have skin in the game. I have skin in the game. In my former contract, no matter what I did this year, nothing would be guaranteed to me next year. I couldn’t feel secure in my contract. Now, if I play the way I know I’m capable of playing, I know I’m going to get paid.”

Sherman’s deal is a three-year, $39MM pact, but a deeper look shows that the real base value is just $21.15MM with another $18MM coming in the form of bonuses. In order to earn the full $39MM, Sherman must play in every regular season game, be on the field for 90% of snaps, and earn Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors in each season. In other words, it’s unlikely that Sherman will actually see the full value of the deal. Still, Sherman is content with how things played out and intimated that he wanted the opportunity to face his old team twice per year.

  • Mike Klis of 9News in Denver (on Twitter) had more on the 49ers’ proposed trade for cornerback Aqib Talib from the Broncos, which Talib rejected. The 49ers were going to send a fourth-round pick in the 2019 draft in exchange for the services of the five-time Pro Bowler. In the end, the Broncos traded Talib to the Rams for a fifth-round pick in the 2018 draft.
  • The Buccanneers looked to shore up their kicking woes of late by attempting to land former Florida State kicker Dustin Hopkins before he re-signed with the Redskins, according to ESPN’s Jenna Laine. The Bucs cut former second-round pick Roberto Aguayo prior to last season and Nick Folk was cut last month after missing a majority of last season on injured reserve with a minor-injury designation. Free-agent addition Patrick Murray hit 82.6% of his kicks with Tampa Bay last year in 23 attempts, with a long of 50 yards.
  • The Giants and offensive lineman John Greco agreed to a one-year deal last month and Ralph Vacchiano of SNY (on Twitter) that his salary for 2018 will be $1.02MM. Greco appeared in six games for the Giants last season after spending the previous six seasons as a mainstay within the interior of the Browns’ offensive line.

Redskins Re-Sign K Dustin Hopkins

The Redskins have taken care of one of their own free agents in advance of the legal tampering period. Kicker Dustin Hopkins has agreed to a new deal, according to a team announcement. It’s a three-year deal worth $6.875MM, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The deal includes a $1.2MM signing bonus. 

Hopkins, 28 in October, has been with the Redskins since 2015. In that time, he has made 73-of-87 field goal attempts along with 93-of-98 extra point tries. He has been perfect on short-range attempts in that time, making all 26 of his field goals from 20-29 yards out.

Hopkins is the third player the Redskins have re-signed this offseason, following linebacker Mason Foster and safety Deshazor Everett. They still have 15 unrestricted free agents to address (only 14, if you exclude Kirk Cousins), including four members of the 2014 draft class: linebacker Trent Murphy, center Spencer Long, cornerback Bashaud Breeland and wide receiver Ryan Grant.