A day after it looked like DaeSean Hamilton might be traded by the Broncos, the third-year wide receiver suffered a serious knee injury away from the facility, according to a report Friday from NFL Network. The injury is feared to be an ACL tear, but Hamilton has yet to receive an MRI.
Hamilton was expected to be waived or traded this week, saving the Broncos $2.18 million in cap space. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported that the Broncos had several trade offers before finding out about Hamilton's injury. Drafted by the Broncos in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft, Hamilton totaled 81 receptions, 833 receiving yards and five touchdowns.
Hamilton is the second Broncos player to suffer an injury away from the team's facility, joining right tackle Ja'Wuan James. Because these season-ending injuries both occurred off-site, the Broncos are not obligated to pay their respective 2021 salaries — $10.8 million for James and $2.18 million for Hamilton. This has caused a league-wide debate, after the NFLPA encouraged players not to attend in-person voluntary offseason workouts in hopes of limiting OTAs in the future.
Now, Hamilton will likely face the same fate as James, who was put on the non-football injury list and officially released Friday. James will likely file a grievance in hopes receiving some of the $10.58 million he was due in 2021.
James expressed frustration with the NFLPA Friday tweeting, "NFLPA if your gonna advise all of us we need you to have our backs on the other end of this." James and Hamilton will likely lose out on millions of dollars for not being at the team facility during their injuries, which might cause for more players re-think their decision to boycott the voluntary workouts and to instead show up May 24, when OTAs officially begin.
Coach Vic Fangio was asked Friday how many players he expects to attend OTAs, to which he said he really doesn't know.
“I’m not sure to be honest with you," Fangio said. "We’ve put a lot of thought into the schedule that we have come up with. It came through many additions. I like the schedule we have. I think we’ve heard everybody’s side of the story – players, coaches, management. I don’t know how many will be here. Hopefully we’ll have a good number. Its voluntary camp, so whoever decides to come, we’ll be happy about.”