The San Francisco 49ers may be getting a real stroke of luck after one of their trade attempts for a wide receiver fell through.
With wide receivers Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk, as well as tight end George Kittle, the 49ers have no shortage of explosive pass-catching options. However, they looked to bring in another option in Denver Broncos receiver DaeSean Hamilton.
A torn ACL led to the trade falling through, as the Niners wanted to offer assets to Denver in return for the receiver. Now, ESPN reporter Adam Schefter is stating that Hamilton is released and available.
“Broncos are releasing WR DaeSean Hamilton today, per source,” Schefter wrote on Twitter. “Hamilton is said to be fully recovered from the torn ACL he suffered last off-season. Hamilton was set to be traded to SF before his injury in 2021 and the former fourth-round pick is expected to draw interest.”
While the deal falling through was disappointing for San Francisco at the time, it may have been a blessing in disguise, and they now have the opportunity to sign the receiver for no trade cost.
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Hamilton’s NFL Career
Hamilton’s injury happened at the worst possible time in terms of the player’s perspective. After three years of playing a part-time role for the Broncos, his fourth year on his rookie contract was his chance to make a splash and earn a big contract this offseason or next.
Instead, he suffered a brutal knee injury, although Schefter says he’s fully recovered. Before the ACL tear, Hamilton totaled 833 receiving yards on 81 catches, adding 5 touchdowns to boot according to PFR.
The former Penn State Nittany Lion never started more than five games in a single season, leading to a consistent floor and ceiling each year. From 2018 to 2020, his lowest receiving yards total for a season was 243 yards, and his high was 297.
With Courtland Sutton and then the selection of Jerry Jeudy in the 2020 NFL draft, it was always going to be difficult for Hamilton to “break out” as a fourth or fifth receiving option in a run-heavy offense.
Hamilton’s Fit in a 49ers Offense
Like Denver, San Francisco also focuses on the run game as the focal point of the offense. So, if Hamilton joins the 49ers, it would likely lead to similar production to what fans saw in Denver, although a change of scenery and other variables can boost or hamper his performance as well.
But if Hamilton contributed how he did in Denver, the 49ers would be thrilled. They’ve got playmakers in the passing game with Deebo and Kittle, and Hamilton can play an important role as a depth option, and would be an upgrade over someone like Mohamed Sanu.
Jauan Jennings’ size and physicality still sets him apart as the top option behind Aiyuk, but Hamilton being a threat against nickel and dime corners is more valuable than you might think.
San Francisco may be a run-heavy offense, but every weapon expands head coach Kyle Shanahan’s playbook. Whether Jimmy Garoppolo or Trey Lance is the quarterback in the 2022 season, Hamilton would be a valuable addition.