The Dallas Cowboys in a surprise announcement parted ways with Safety Ken Hamlin today.
A former 2nd round pick out of Arkansas, Hamlin was named a First-team All-American by The Sporting News and was also nominated for the Jim Thorpe Award. In 2002, he was nominated for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, the award given to the best defensive player in the nation.
All of that was enough for Mike Holmgren in 2003 to elect him at No. 42 overall, as the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks.
There was an off-field incident after a game, that resulted in Hamlin suffering a fractured skull, and forcing him to miss most of the season before finding a new home with the Cowboys.
Now, at age 29, Hamlin is back in the free agent pool with the coach that drafted him running a new team—the Cleveland Browns.
It's not much of a secret that right now the secondary is a huge position of weakness for Cleveland. It's been recently improved with the arrival of Sheldon Brown, a former Pro Bowler, from Philadelphia at cornerback.
There is still a long way to go.
When Brodney Pool signed with the New York Jets in free agency, it left a huge void at the free safety position. Currently starting would be utility player Mike Adams, who split time last year with wide receiver, Mike Furrey.
Hamlin's best year, like most of the Browns' players, came in 2007. Hauling in five interceptions, an impressive 15 passes defensed, and 62 tackles. The following year he put up 74 tackles and was franchised by Jerry Jones and the Cowboys.
Last season, he only played 12 games due to a groin injury, and that was enough for him to be released today.
For Cleveland though, this could be the last piece of the offseason puzzle. The big question is, does Mike Holmgren feel like Hamlin has enough left in him to be productive with his new organization, to take a chance on him one more time?