In the business that is the NFL, not every deal is going to be a good one. Every trade, every free-agent signing and every coaching hire has a chance to be a bad one. When that happens, big money is often still owed.
The Denver Broncos, like all of the other 31 teams in the league, have some players that are no longer a part of the team but will still be getting paid by the team. It's a situation that the league, based on its salary cap, refers to as "dead money".
The teams with the most dead money on their books are often the ones with the worst salary cap situations. The Broncos currently have about $12 million in dead money on their books, according to Over the cap.
Here, we will look at the five players who will count the most against the team's dead-money situation in the 2023 season.
K.J. Hamler, Wide Receiver: $687,661
The Broncos moved on from K.J. Hamler this offseason after it was discovered that the former second-round pick had an existing heart condition.
Though it was mentioned at the time that the team could bring Hamler back at some point in the future, the team owes him some money for this season no matter what. If Hamler never returns to Denver, the former high draft pick will finish his career there with just 42 receptions for 620 yards and three touchdowns.
Hamler will likely look to get himself back into football shape and then see if he can catch on with a team at some point in the middle of this season. If not, he may attempt to re-enter the league in 2024.
He just turned 24 years old and he had enough talent coming out of college, particularly his speed, that made him a top pick. There will be some interest if he looks to continue his playing career.