Broncos' DaeSean Hamilton Tears ACL; Trade Was Reportedly Close

The Broncos wide receiver is the second to be injured in workouts away from team facilities.
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At first, it appeared the Broncos were going to part ways with wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton after failed trade attempts, only for teams to show renewed interest.

But there won't be a trade now, after Hamilton tore his ACL during a workout away from team facilities. Taylor Bisciotti of NFL Network was first with the report.

Fellow NFL Network analyst Mike Garafolo reported that the Broncos, after announcing their plans to waive Hamilton, were close to working out a trade with another team.

Some people might be confused as to why a team would want to trade for Hamilton when the Broncos intended to release him.

Here is why: All players with three or fewer accrued seasons go through the waiver process if a team parts way with the player. That means teams higher on waiver priority get the first chance to claim the player.

Therefore, a team who is lower on waiver priority may want to work out a trade, to ensure it will get the player.

That's different from vested veterans, or players with four or more accrued seasons. Those players, when released from teams, are immediately free to sign with any team and don't go through the waiver process.

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All of that is moot, though, because Hamilton's ACL injury means no team will trade for him now. What remains to be seen is what the Broncos do next.

As with right tackle Ja'Wuan James, the Broncos aren't obligated to pay Hamilton anything because he was injured while working out away from team facilities. Unlike James, though, Hamilton has no guaranteed salary for 2021.

Therefore, if the Broncos decide to move on from Hamilton and not pay him anything, it will be harder for Hamilton to get anything through a grievance process.

The Broncos could opt to keep Hamilton and work out on an injury settlement, but that becomes a problem, given that the Broncos have already made their decision on James. It's more likely the Broncos just let Hamilton go and decide not to pay him anything.

Once again, this goes back to the NFL Players Association advising players not to report to team facilities for offseason workouts, in hopes of getting the offseason schedule changed. And it's cost yet another player.

Whether or not you sympathize with Hamilton or James, this much is true: The NFLPA asked players to risk everything in hopes of making changes to offseason workouts, but gave them no protection in case players got hurt.

All it's done thus far is cost a couple of Broncos players money, while giving the NFLPA no leverage in getting what it wants.


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