Koepplin Has The Leg To Compete

Chris Koepplin (Getty Images)

Former Umass product Chris Koepplin returns to Foxboro for his second stint with the Patriots. His signing, which fell well under the radar, could be a ticket to a starting job in the NFL if past history of Patriots camp kickers is an indication.

Free agent kicker Chris Koepplin was signed by the Patriots on April 16, 2012.  Terms of the deal were not announced.

According to NFLPA documents, Koepplin agreed to a one-year deal for $390,000.

The addition of Koepplin, who went to training camp with the Patriots in 2011, went largely unnoticed due to the Patriots' other big name signee, Dan Koppen.  

Koppen's return was big news after the team appeared headed in a new direction. New England had previously re-signed Dan Connolly who filled in for Koppen and was expected to be his eventual replacement.

Koepplin was originally signed by the team as a free agent on July 27, 2011. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound UMass product was released on Aug. 29, 2011. He played two seasons at UMass (2006-07). Prior to UMass Koepplin attended Nassau Community College. After UMass, Koepplin played in the Arena 2 Football League, as a member of the Manchester Wolves (2008-09).

Koepplin's future with the Patriots is expected to be little more than acting as an extra body in camp to help keep starter Stephen Gostkowski's leg fresh.   Even limited action in camp could help Koepplin land a job elsewhere in the league if past history or Patriots camp competitions are any indication.  Former camp tryout Robbie Gould used his time in Patriots camp behind Adam Vinatieri to secure a job with the Chicago Bears.

Koepplin hasn't been sitting around waiting for his phone to ring. He's been busy marketing himself on the internet using Youtube video's of his kicking.  Here is one where he nails four field goals 60 yards or longer.

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