In a season where the Cleveland Browns' offense has been marred by injuries, Dustin Hopkins has been a bright spot. The veteran kicker leads the NFL with 30 made field goals as of Week 14 while his 90.9% success rate is on pace to be the highest of his nine-year career.
But even with that success, Hopkins knows that fanbases can flip on a kicker at any given moment. All it takes is one untimely miss to draw the ire of Browns fans everywhere. Fortunately, though, the 33-year-old is mentally strong and won't let any hate get to him.
Browns News: Hopkins' Long-Term Future in Cleveland
In an interview with Cleveland.com's Dan Labbe, Hopkins explains that he "can look myself in the mirror" despite any missed kicks. He says that he's able to do that by putting things into perspective, knowing that doctors and military personnel face a lot worse in their day-to-day lives than football players.
In other words, Hopkins can handle a whole city hating him due to a crucial missed kick. Just don't count on him living in Cleveland in his post-playing days if that winds up happening during his Browns tenure.
"My bad day is an entire city hates me. I can live with that. I probably just won’t live there after."- Dustin Hopkins
Joking aside, what also helps Hopkins keep things in perspective is his wife and son. The former FSU product says that football isn't his "treasure" and that the love he gets from his friends and family — regardless of his on-field results — is what matters the most.
The good news is that Hopkins is receiving nothing but love from Browns fans. On top of leading the NFL in field goals made, he's also connected on all seven of 50-plus-yard attempts, which is significant given that he only had a 50.0% success right from that distance before the 2023 campaign.
It'll be interesting to see how Hopkins performs once Cleveland's offense is back to full strength. The former All-American talent is signed through the 2024 NFL season with a cap hit just north of $3 million, per Spotrac.
Assuming he continues his strong play into next year, Browns fans will be happy to let Hopkins live in Cleveland for as long as he wants.
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