Bill Wippert/Associated Press
Dustin Hopkins isn't a veteran in the true essence of the word—he is entering his second season, after all—but he may need to put on an epic show this training camp to save his job.
Selected in the sixth round of the 2013 draft, Hopkins was supposed to be the kicker of the future for the Buffalo Bills, if there is such a thing. Unfortunately, a groin injury intervened to cut his rookie season out from under him.
The Bills rebounded nicely, however, signing Dan Carpenter after the Miami Dolphins released him. Carpenter may have been signed off the scrap heap, but he sure didn't play like it.
Perhaps inspired after his release, Carpenter had a great season in Buffalo. He hit career highs in field-goal percentage (91.7) and made field goals (33), including seven against his former team. It was so good that the Bills gave him a four-year extension this offseason that includes over $2.1 million in dead money if he is cut this year.
Does that sound like a guy who is on the roster bubble? Meanwhile, Hopkins is coming back from injury, and there is little reason to keep two kickers around, though apparently head coach Doug Marrone has said Hopkins would be the team's kickoff specialist, per the team site.
Hopkins has his work cut out for him.