A look into why the Washington Football Team cut kicker Dustin Hopkins.
On Wednesday the Washington Football Team announced that they had released kicker Dustin Hopkins. In his place, they have signed Chris Blewitt off of their practice squad. Let’s try to dive into this and figure out why this decision was made.
Now, for some fans, this isn’t really a hard question. Just a quick dive into the Washington side of social media will tell you that a lot of fans weren’t that high on Hopkins. To be fair to them, it’s understandable. Hopkins has never been elite. He’s never made 90% of his field goals in a season. And he’s only surpassed higher than 85% in a season twice.
What’s more, Hopkins isn’t known for his power leg. This is his seventh year in the NFL (all with the Washington Football Team). In that time, Hopkins has appeared in 69 games. He’s just 14-for-27 on kicks 50-plus. That’s not very nice.
Washington Football Team: Why Dustin Hopkins was cut
So Hopkins has never been terrible but he’s had a lot of inconsistency problems. Tends to not be in the “elite” category when it comes to percentages, and doesn’t have a big leg.
He had a clutch field goal to beat the New York Giants earlier this year. But if you remember correctly, he actually missed the first kick but got a second chance due to an offsides penalty. He also missed two extra points in one game against the New Orleans Saints. Then against the Kansas City Chiefs, Hopkins missed a field goal in the third quarter that would’ve given Washington a 16-10 lead. They ended up losing 31-13. That could be viewed as a momentum turner.
Hopkins is a solid kicker. He’ll likely find a spot on another team. But this move made sense. Washington is now 2-4. They are underperforming in a lot of different places. Hopkins has shown inconsistencies in the past. The team needed to make some changes, and this is one they could make right now. Solid is nice, but they need better than that. Why not go for something new?
Chris Blewitt on the other hand has no NFL experience. In College, he was the kicker for the University of Pittsburgh. It’s safe to say, Blewitt is an unknown commodity when it comes to being an NFL kicker. He has a bad name for a kicker, but that’s about it. Having a few friends that went to Pitt, that’s the best I can give you – his name was perfect for when he missed a kick (which hopefully both he and Washington don’t have to deal with).
An unknown commodity could be anything. Maybe he falters immediately and Washington looks to have made a terrible mistake. With the way the season is going for them, it’s hard to imagine anyone blaming the year on the team moving on from a “solid-at-best” kicker in Dustin Hopkins.
Best case scenario though? Chris Blewitt is nails. Every great team needs a great and reliable kicker. No, Washington is not a great team right now. They have the potential to be there soon though. And yes, a lot of fans probably don’t want to hear that right now with how disappointing the team has been. It’s true though.
It was time for the Washington Football Team to move on. Kicker is one of the most important positions in the game. You need reliability, consistency, and a strong leg in today’s game. It just didn’t feel like they were getting that.