Buffalo Bills release kicker Rian Lindell

Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

The Bills have decided to wave goodbye to their longest-tenured player.

The Buffalo Bills have made the decision to release longtime kicker Rian Lindell, according to the team's official website.

Buffalo had to choose between the upside of youngster Dustin Hopkins and the veteran Lindell, and ultimately went with youth. Over at Buffalo Rumblings, Brian Galliford explains it wasn't only a matter of age that made this decision a somewhat obvious one for the team in Hopkins' favor:

His superior leg strength was the main difference in the competition - Lindell's leg strength had deteriorated rapidly over the last couple of seasons - but Lindell's $2.1 million base salary played its role, as well.

Lindell, 36, ends his Bills career only 31 points behind Steve Christie on the team's all-time points list.

Buffalo originally signed Lindell back in 2003 when he was a free agent and got much more than they bargained for. The Washington State product played his first three NFL seasons with the Seattle Seahawks before moving across the country to play in some more cold weather.

Despite playing in such inhospitable conditions his entire career, Lindell has a 81.3 field goal percentage.

As for his replacement, Hopkins was drafted by the Bills out of Florida State in the sixth round, signaling the team's interest in finding new blood at the position. In four field goal attempts this preseason, Hopkins has been perfect.

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