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Bronco notes: Surtain signs $20.96 million contract; Hamilton waived

Tim Patrick signs $3.384 million tender. Roman Phifer becomes football department's fifth diversity hire of offseason.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Denver Broncos have signed first-round draft choice Pat Surtain II to a four-year, $20,962,802 contract that includes a $12,605,672 signing bonus.

A cornerback from Alabama, Surtain was the No. 9 overall selection in the NFL Draft that was held four weeks ago. The Broncos took Surtain instead of quarterbacks Justin Fields or Mac Jones, as some had hoped given the team’s need to keep up with the other quarterbacks in their AFC West Division, Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes II, the Chargers’ Justin Herbert and the Raiders’ Derek Carr. But Surtain is considered a future Pro Bowler who didn’t carry the risk of the draft’s fourth and fifth-best QBs.

RELATED: Broncos 2021 offseason: After trying to keep up with Chiefs' offense last year, strategy flipped to trying to stop them

Surtain, whose contract includes a fifth-year team option, is the sixth of 10 Broncos’ draft picks to have signed. Those left unsigned are second-round running back Javonte Williams, third-round center Quinn Meinerz, third-round linebacker Baron Browning Jr., and seventh-round linebacker Jonathon Cooper.

DaeSean waived with non-football injury 

The Broncos officially waived receiver DaeSean Hamilton with a non-football injury (NFI) designation, a transaction that was expected for two reasons. One, Hamilton was told last week by general manager George Paton he would be waived or traded in light of the Broncos’ burgeoning depth chart at receiver. And two, Hamilton suffered a torn ACL last week while working out on his own away from the team facility.

The NFL has said clubs aren’t responsible for paying or medically covering players who suffer an injury away from the team facility. Hamilton had 81 catches for 833 yards and 5 touchdowns in his three seasons in Denver. The Broncos had been talking with the 49ers about a Hamilton trade that would have involved a conditional late-round draft pick in the hours prior to his season-ending injury.

RELATED: DaeSean Hamilton latest Bronco to suffer significant injury (ACL); Ja'Wuan James terminated without pay

Hamilton was to make $2.2 million this year, but none of that money was guaranteed.

Hamilton and another Broncos’ player, right tackle Ja’Wuan James, suffered season-ending injuries in the past two weeks while working out away from the team facility, which means they were not contractually covered. James, who was terminated from the team Friday, stands to lose $10.43 million in unpaid 2021 salary. He did receive a $150,000 advance for opting out last season.

Patrick, Marshall sign

Broncos receiver Tim Patrick signed his restricted free agent tender Tuesday that will pay him $3.384 million this year. Patrick had 51 catches last season for 742 yards and a team-best six touchdowns.

Backup safety Trey Marshall signed his exclusive rights free agent tender worth $920,000. He played in 28 games combined the past two years, mostly on special teams.

Bronco Bits

The Broncos have hired Roman Phifer as a senior personnel executive. Phifer was a linebacker on the New England Patriot Super Bowl title teams in 2001, 2003-04 and was a Broncos assistant linebackers coach under Josh McDaniels in 2009-10. In his new role with the Broncos. Phifer will scout pro and college players.

Credit: Denver Broncos
Roman Phifer

Phifer is the fifth diversity hire the Broncos have made in their football department this offseason, joining coaches Christian Parker, Chris Cook and Pierre Ngo, and special assistant to the general manager Kelly Kleine. The Broncos also hired China Jude as head of diversity.

Denver has signed receiver Damion Willis, who had 9 catches for 82 yards in 2019 with Cincinnati. As a senior for Troy – the same program that produced DeMarcus Ware – in 2018, the 6-foot-3 Willis had 56 catches for 876 yards and 10 touchdowns.