DaeSean Hamilton

49ers Were Preparing To Trade For DaeSean Hamilton

Had DaeSean Hamilton not suffered a torn ACL while training Friday morning, he was set to be traded to the NFC West. The 49ers were the team negotiating a deal for the fourth-year wideout, Troy Renck of Denver7 reports (on Twitter).

Plenty has transpired since those talks heated up, with Hamilton’s knee injury scuttling that trade. This would have been the second trade between the Broncos and 49ers involving a wide receiver in the past 19 months; Denver sent Emmanuel Sanders to San Francisco at the 2019 trade deadline.

The Broncos have since waived Hamilton with an NFI designation. The former fourth-round pick was working out away from the team’s facility. The 49ers will have the opportunity to claim the former Penn State pass catcher, but he is set to miss the 2021 season. Hamilton’s rookie contract expires after the 2021 season as well.

The 49ers ran into some notable injury trouble last year. Both Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk missed time, while former third-round pick Jalen Hurd has missed two full seasons. Slot receiver Trent Taylor battled extensive injury trouble; he has since signed with the Bengals. Hamilton primarily played in the slot for the Broncos but could not establish himself as a consistent target, leading the team to draft two wideouts high in 2020.

San Francisco did not draft a receiver this year, though Kyle Shanahan did opt to reunite with Mohamed Sanu. Ex-Hamilton Broncos teammate River Cracraft also remains on the 49ers’ roster.

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Broncos Waive WR DaeSean Hamilton

Last week, reports indicated the Broncos were ready to waive DaeSean Hamilton. But the team found a trade taker for the fourth-year wideout. Hamilton’s subsequent ACL tear nixed that deal.

The Broncos are making Hamilton’s exit official Tuesday. They waived the former fourth-round pick, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. This transaction will come with a non-football injury designation, with Hamilton having suffered the serious knee malady Friday morning.

Denver was prepared to move on because of its depth at receiver. The Broncos became the first team since the 2003 Cardinals to use first- and second-round picks on receivers in the same draft last year, taking Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler. That duo joins contract-year talents Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick, and the Broncos drafted Auburn’s Seth Williams in this year’s sixth round.

Hamilton was not able to become a consistent target in Denver, failing to surpass 300 receiving yards in any of his three seasons. He is expected to miss the rest of this season due to injury, one that could become a point of contention.

Like Ja’Wuan James, Hamilton was working out on his own — during the time the Broncos going through Phase 1 of their offseason workouts. James and Hamilton were following the NFLPA’s recommendation for veterans to boycott teams’ voluntary offseason programs. The Broncos are not expected to pay James his $10.58MM base salary, setting up a potential grievance. While Hamilton was set to make far less in 2021 ($2.183MM), it will be interesting to see if the team takes the same stance with its second player who suffered a major injury working out on his own.

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DaeSean Hamilton Tears ACL; Broncos Had Trade In Place

Although the Broncos had prepared to waive DaeSean Hamilton on Thursday, they are believed to have found a taker in a trade for the fourth-year wide receiver. But an injury will scuttle those plans.

The former fourth-round pick suffered a torn ACL, according to NFL.com’s Taylor Bisciotti (on Twitter). This injury occurred away from the Broncos’ facility Friday morning, per 9News’ Mike Klis (Twitter links). This comes shortly after Denver right tackle Ja’Wuan James offsite Achilles tear.

[RELATED: Broncos T Ja’Wuan James Tears Achilles]

However, the Broncos were set to trade Hamilton in the coming days, Mike Garafolo and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com report (Twitter links). The trade partner is not known, but Denver7’s Troy Renck tweets a deal was in place. The former Penn State wideout was due a $2.18MM salary this year but now finds himself in a situation similar to James’.

The young receiver going down away from the team’s facility will, like James, put his salary in jeopardy. The Broncos were the first team to stand in solidarity with the NFLPA’s proposed boycott of voluntary offseason workouts, but the team has become ground zero for offsite injuries during this span. Some Broncos have worked out at the team’s facility since the voluntary sessions began last month, but the injuries to James and Hamilton display the risks players take when opting to train on their own.

The Broncos have four receivers firmly ahead of Hamilton on their depth chart — Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, K.J. Hamler and Tim Patrick — and they drafted Seth Williams in the sixth round earlier this month. Hamilton has seen extensive time as a backup and spot starter in three seasons but did not eclipse 300 receiving yards in any of those campaigns. This injury will certainly affect his stock going forward.

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Broncos To Waive DaeSean Hamilton

DaeSean Hamilton‘s time in Denver has come to an end. The Broncos are waiving the receiver from Penn State, a source told Mike Garafolo of NFL Network (Twitter link).

We had heard about a month ago that the Broncos may trade Hamilton around the draft, but obviously nothing materialized. Garafolo writes that they “had trade talks” recently “but couldn’t finalize a deal.” Garafolo also says that Hamilton is a “strong possibility to be claimed” on waivers. Hamilton was a fourth-round pick back in 2018 and was set to enter the final year of his rookie contract.

Penn State’s all-time leading receiver has had between 23-30 catches and 243-297 yards in all three of his pro seasons. He’s flashed some potential at times, but has gotten buried on the depth chart. The Broncos have Courtland Sutton coming back from an ACL tear, and just drafted Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler in the first and second rounds last year, making Hamilton expendable.

Denver also has Tim Patrick coming back and just used a sixth-round pick on receiver Seth Williams, so the receiving room was getting pretty crowded. Hamilton turned 26 in March, and will undoubtedly get another shot somewhere.

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Broncos May Trade DaeSean Hamilton

The Broncos have Courtland Sutton coming back from an ACL tear in 2021. They also drafted Jerry Jeudy in the first-round last year, and K.J. Hamler in the second. They also have Tim Patrick coming off a breakout 742-yard season.

Needless to say, the receivers room is a bit crowded at the moment. That surplus of wideouts could lead to a trade around the draft, and Mike Garafolo of NFL Network says to keep an eye on DaeSean Hamilton (Twitter video link). The Broncos have “gotten inquiries” on Hamilton, Garafolo reports, and he believes Denver “would move him for the right price.”

Considering Hamilton was a fourth-round pick in 2018 and hasn’t done a ton in the league, it likely wouldn’t take more than a Day 3 pick to get a trade done. As Garafolo points out, new Broncos GM George Paton also has no ties to Hamilton, making him more easily expendable.

Penn State’s all-time leading receiver has had between 23-30 catches and 243-297 yards in all three of his pro seasons. He’s set to enter the final year of his rookie deal in 2021.

He only just turned 26 and has flashed some potential while being buried on the depth chart, so it wouldn’t be surprising if a team that misses out on a receiver in the early rounds of the draft pulls the trigger here.

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Thomas Eyeing Several More Seasons

Hip and neck troubles plagued Demaryius Thomas the past two seasons, enough so the Broncos’ top wide receiver contemplated near-future retirement — either after the 2018 season or the ’19 campaign, James Palmer of NFL.com reports. But a now-reinvigorated Thomas is looking at his career differently.

A new diet and a leaner physique has the 30-year-old wideout wanting to extend his career well into the 2020s, even though he acknowledges things change quickly.

Now I’m thinking, 15 or 16 (years),” Thomas told Palmer. “Like, for real, I’m going to be like Larry Fitzgerald. Maybe even more. It just depends, you know? I mean, s—, tomorrow I could finish my career off of one crazy injury. But yeah, my mindset has changed.”

Thomas dropped more than 10 pounds this offseason, being currently under 220, per Palmer. And he’s obviously not experiencing the kind of hip pain that bothered him in 2016 and ’17. Even entering this season on the heels of the aforementioned injury-restricted ones, Thomas has played in 107 straight games since the 2011 season.

For, like, the past two years, for real, it’s been my neck and my hip,” Thomas said, via Palmer. “It was just times I couldn’t compete my best. And you know, sometimes, I remember one game we were playing the Patriots, and the (then-Patriots) corner (Logan Ryan) called it out. He said, ‘You’re not yourself.’ And I was like, ‘Man, I’m doing whatever I can to try to get (coverage) attention.’ ”

Like, for real, with all the problems with my hip, especially with my hip, it was like, sometimes I couldn’t even stop.”

Palmer notes one of Thomas’ hip labrums is partially torn. It’s not known what medical treatments Thomas underwent (if any) to recover from these maladies in order to be ready for this season.

If Thomas wants to play well into his 30s, he may have to relocate. By virtue of the Broncos picking up Thomas’ $4MM option, the Georgia Tech product will play a fourth season on his five-year, $70MM deal. But Thomas’ 2019 contract year will feature a $17.53MM cap number — up $5MM from this season’s — and the Broncos shedding that salary will save them $14MM. Of course, Emmanuel Sanders‘ contract expires after the 2019 season as well, and he’s due nearly $13MM in 2019.

With the Broncos having drafted Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton this year, it seems a somewhat safe bet to assume at least one of their longtime starters will be elsewhere in 2019. Though, they might be hesitant to part ways with both Thomas and Sanders given their importance to the Denver passing game the past four seasons. The Broncos and Thomas believe both rookies will make an immediate impact, per Palmer, with Sutton in particular drawing rave reviews in camp. Denver, though, has failed repeatedly to identify auxiliary receiving talent over the past three years, with previous Day 2 draft choices Cody Latimer and Carlos Henderson not working out.

Although Thomas’ 1,000-yard streak stopped at five due to 2017’s 949-yard showing, he passed Shannon Sharpe in both career receiving yardage and touchdowns (as Broncos) last season. He’s second behind Rod Smith in both categories with the Broncos.

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Broncos Agree To Terms With 7 Draftees

The Broncos made 10 picks in this past draft, and seven of those have agreed to terms on their four-year rookie contracts, Mike Klis of 9News tweets. While Bradley Chubb is not among this group, Denver has the majority of its 2018 class locked in. Here’s the full rundown:

Sutton, though, is under contract now. He’s the most notable draft investment the Broncos have made at wide receiver since Demaryius Thomas in 2010, profiling as a slightly higher-regarded second-round pick than Cody Latimer four years ago. The SMU product is expected to develop behind Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders while potentially working in as a No. 3 wideout this season. Hamilton will attempt to do the same, and the former Nittany Lions standout could well compete with 2017 draftee Carlos Henderson for the Broncos’ slot job — one the franchise has struggled to fill since Wes Welker departed.

Fumagalli will compete for time in an uncertain tight end group, an all-Big Ten-produced contingent featuring intriguing second-year player Jake Butt and thus-far-underwhelming fourth-year man Jeff Heuerman. This shapes up to be an interesting competition. Fellow Big Ten alum Jewell will likely be thrust into work as a special-teamer and reserve behind inside linebackers Brandon Marshall and Todd Davis.

The only Broncos picks still unsigned are Chubb and third-rounders Royce Freeman and Isaac Yiadom.