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Penn State in the NFL

Former Penn State WR Signs Reserve/Futures Deal With Bills

Photo by Associated Press

Former Penn State receiver K.J. Hamler has signed a reserve/futures deal with the Buffalo Bills, ESPN’s Field Yates first reported late Saturday afternoon.

Hamler has signed with Buffalo ahead of the team’s divisional playoff game against Kansas City at home, which is scheduled for Sunday at 6:30.

Previously, he spent time this season on the Colts’ practice squad.

This summer, Hamler was diagnosed with mild heart irritation, but the diagnosis wasn’t career-ending. After playing at Penn State from 2017-19, Hamler went to the Broncos in the second round of the 2020 Draft and went on to play three seasons in Denver. His best pro season thus far was his rookie one in 2020. Hamler ended that year with 381 yards and three touchdowns on 30 receptions. But due to a torn ACL, Hamler only played three games during the 2021 season. The next year, he suffered a hamstring injury and only played in seven games.

Hamler was an electrifying player at Penn State and went in the second round of the 2020 Draft with the No. 46 overall pick.

Hamler signed a 4-year, $7,137,128 rookie contract, including a $2,750,638 signing bonus.

Hamler finished his career at Penn State with 98 catches for 1,658 yards and 13 TDs, including a long score of 93 yards.
He caught 56 passes for 904 yards and eight TDs in 2019. The year before that, Hamler caught 42 passes for 754 yards and five touchdowns, the most notable one being a 93-yarder against Ohio State.

Hamler won’t be the only Penn Stater with ties to Bills-Chiefs. The Chiefs starting left tackle and for years one of the best in the game, Donovan Smith hasn’t performed as well in 2023 as in previous years but is still a stabilizing force on the left side. Smith is tied for 11th with nine penalties this season but has only allowed two sacks in 749 snaps. PFF gives him a pedestrian 55.4 overall rating in his first season as a Chief following eight years, plus a Super Bowl ring, in Tampa Bay.

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