AP source: Broncos WR DaeSean Hamilton injures knee offsite

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FILE - In this Jan. 3, 2021, file photo, Denver Broncos wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton (17) runs against the Las Vegas Raiders during the second half of an NFL football game in Denver. A person with knowledge of the details tells The Associated Press that Hamilton sustained a serious knee injury Friday, May 14, while working out on his own. The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Hamilton is suspected to have torn an ACL, as first reported by NFL Network. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey, File)
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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — A person with knowledge of the details tells The Associated Press that Broncos wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton sustained a serious knee injury Friday while working out on his own.

The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Hamilton is suspected to have torn an ACL, as first reported by NFL Network.

That not only imperils his $2.183 million salary for 2021, but it also squelches trade talks for the fourth-year pro from Penn State.

This is the second time this month that a Broncos veteran has been hurt away from the team's facilities.

On Friday, the Broncos cut Ja'Wuan James, a week after putting him on the non-football injury list after the right tackle tore an Achilles tendon while working out away from the team's headquarters.

The Broncos weren't obligated to pay James' $10 million-plus salary for 2021 because he got hurt while working out on his own, and the team is similarly off the hook for Hamilton's $2.183 million salary for the upcoming season.

The Broncos players were the first of 20 teams to announce last month that they would boycott voluntary offseason workouts, citing COVID-19 concerns and the success of the 2020 season, which followed a virtual offseason.

Players are protected against lost wages if they sustain an injury at a team’s facility. They don’t have the same protection if they’re injured working out anywhere else.

That's a point the NFL's management council reiterated in a memo to all team executives and head coaches last week after James got hurt.

In the memo, the league encouraged teams to “remind players of the significant injury-related protection provided if they choose to work out at the club facility and the risks they undertake in choosing to train in non-NFL locations.”

The NFL Players Association responded with a memo to players that called the league “gutless to use a player’s serious injury as a scare tactic to get (players) to come running back to these workouts” at team headquarters.

Hamilton’s injury came just as the Broncos were trying to trade the fourth-year receiver who has five career TD catches and who is buried in a deep position group that features Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler and Tim Patrick.

With James out, the Broncos signed free agent tackles Bobby Massie and Cameron Fleming this week to compete for the right tackle job in training camp.

The Broncos opened their three-day rookie minicamp on Friday and when asked if any veterans had tried to dissuade him from attending, first-round pick Patrick Surtain II said, “I was going to come up here and play regardless."

“I'm a rookie. I don’t have any proven ability to miss minicamp. I just have to go out here and practice and compete every day and get right with the playbook,” Surtain added.

Although on-field work for veterans begins Monday, the only mandatory part of the offseason program is a minicamp in mid-June.

“Hopefully we’ll have a good number” of players report next week, Broncos coach Vic Fangio said. “It’s voluntary camp, so whoever decides to come, we’ll be happy about.”

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More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

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