Bills’ Damar Hamlin Sends Strong Message to Steelers - Sport News

Bills’ Damar Hamlin Sends Strong Message to Steelers

Defensive back Damar Hamlin is under contract one more season with the Buffalo Bills. But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t thought about wearing the black and gold.

Damar Hamlin

Hamlin told reporters on February 24 that it would be a “dream” to end his NFL playing career with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“Because I played at Pitt, you know, I was in the stadium,” Hamlin said, via Steel City Collectibles’ Bill Leino. “I played at Heinz Field for probably like eight years straight with WPIAL championships and Pitt.

“A dream come true would be finishing my career as a Steeler.”

A McKees Rocks native, Hamlin played high school football at Central Catholic, which is a high school football powerhouse in western Pennsylvania. The program routinely advances to the WPIAL championships, which takes place at the Steelers’ home every year.

Then, Hamlin played at Pitt from 2016-20. Pitt also calls Heinz Field, which was re-nicknamed Acrisure Stadium in 2022, home.

The Bills drafted Hamlin in the sixth round at No. 212 overall in the 2021 NFL draft. He has appeared in 34 games for Buffalo in his first three NFL seasons.

Damar Hamlin Shares Desire to Finish NFL Career With Pittsburgh Steelers

It’s a little surprising Hamlin was so forthright in his hope to one day play for the Steelers. As previously stated, he is under contract in Buffalo for the 2024 season.

The Bills have also been steadfast supporters of Hamlin since his collapse on the field during Week 17 of the 2022 season.

Hamlin played mostly on special teams as a rookie. Then in the 2022 season, he became a starting safety for the Bills, playing 846 defensive snaps. On January 2, 2023, though, Hamlin fell to the field while making a tackle and remained motionless for several minutes.

He confirmed after his recovery that he suffered an episode of commotio cordis, which is a very rare condition in which cardiac rhythm is disrupted by a blow to the chest. The National Library of Medicine reported the condition is 97% fatal if not treated within three minutes.

Hamlin made a full recovery from the incident to return for the Bills in 2023. Since then, he’s been a source of inspiration throughout the league, but particularly in Buffalo.

It would likely be difficult for Bills fans to see the team depart with Hamlin. But the NFL is a business. Hamlin appears to realize that with his thoughts of perhaps finishing his career elsewhere.

In 2023, Hamlin returned to play 111 snaps in five regular season games. Of those snaps, 17 of them were on defense.

He also appeared in the team’s two playoff contests.

Hamlin’s Connection to Steelers, City of Pittsburgh

Hamlin spent his entire football career in Pittsburgh until 2021 when he joined the Bills. That makes the Steelers an obvious preferred destination for Hamlin in the future.

The Steelers could use additional depth at safety. Hamlin could also contribute on special teams. So, if the 25-year-old was a free agent this March, then the Steelers could have very well considered him a potential target.

But unless the Bills release Hamlin, he will remain in Buffalo for the 2024 season.

One can still dream, though, that one day, Hamlin will return to Pittsburgh and play at Acrisure Stadium for the home team again.

In 34 NFL games, Hamlin has posted 95 combined tackles, including 6 tackles for loss and 3 quarterback hits. He has also recorded 4 pass defenses and 1.5 sacks.

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