McKEES ROCKS, Pa. — Outside of the McKees Rocks and Central Catholic High School communities, Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin is viewed as an athlete, a number, a pawn on a chessboard in the National Football League.
Within those communities though, as well as the Buffalo community, Hamlin, 24, is so much more: a brother, a son, a friend, a philanthropist, one who is always looking to connect with others and give back to his community. So, seeing Hamlin — a sixth-round pick out of the University of Pittsburgh in 2021— lying motionless on the field at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati on Monday night midway through the first quarter was downright terrifying and heartbreaking.
Terrifying situation on football field
Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest after making a tackle on Cincinnati wide receiver Tee Higgins, collapsing on the field before receiving CPR and being taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where on Tuesday afternoon he was sedated and listed in critical condition, according to the Bills.
The scenes that played out in front of millions of viewers Monday night hit close to home for those who know Hamlin well, including longtime Central Catholic head football coach Terry Totten, who retired in early December, and former Central Catholic and University of Pittsburgh teammate Johnny Petrishen.
In fact, Hamlin's longtime friend, high school and college teammate Cal Adomitis, was on the field with Hamlin Monday night as the long snapper for the Bengals.
"It's everybody's worst nightmare to see that unfold," Totten said Tuesday morning. "My thoughts flashed back to that 13-year-old kid who walked into my facility for the first time with his parents. He was looking to improve his future. He was wide-eyed and stepping out onto a new platform, and he achieved it all. He fought through it all and got to a platform he wanted to be.
"You think about the kid, you think about the person, and that's what's critical in that situation."
Hamlin chose to stay close to home
A McKees Rocks native, Hamlin looked to better his football path by heading to Central Catholic to play under Totten. During his time with the Vikings, Hamlin emerged as a key leader for the purple and gold, leading Central Catholic to a state championship in 2015. That year, Hamlin recorded 89 tackles, two interceptions and three fumbles.
What came next for the state's top-rated recruit and four-star prospect showed just who he is. Spurning the likes of Ohio State, Penn State, Clemson, UCLA and Notre Dame, Hamlin chose to stay home at Pitt, aiming to be a role model for not only other local athletes coming up through the system, but for his younger brother, Damir, too.
"We embraced that decision. I'm sitting in the very office where Urban Meyer sat, Clemson sat, Alabama sat. And Damar chose Pittsburgh," Totten said. "It was ingrained in him, his community of McKees Rocks, the Central Catholic community, the city of Pittsburgh. I don't know how many people know this, but he has a very, very young brother who he is very involved with.
"I know it was his family and his ties to the community, and I knew he wanted to get back out in the community and give back, so staying home and playing college football allowed him to do that."
"Pittsburgh's always had your back. And now it's obvious the entire country has your back, too."
Pitt Panthers Head Coach Pat Narduzzi
That's who Hamlin is to this day. Giving back and making an impact are important parts of what drove Hamlin throughout his time at Central Catholic, Pitt, and now with the Bills. That decision to stay home and play at Pittsburgh despite larger, better offers at the time, spoke clearly to who he is and how much his community means to him.
Role model for family and community
Family is his ultimate calling, though.
"I wanted to give him that image growing up, that he can look back on and be able to model himself after," Hamlintold GoLongTD.com's Ty Dunne about his brother. "That's something I never had. I had a bunch of examples of what not to do. I want to give him a different example. Me growing up, I always questioned if I was doing the right things. Just because I didn't have anybody to look to, to say like, 'this is the right thing to be doing.' ... I didn't have anybody I could look to or lean on. That's why I stayed home at Pitt. I chose Pitt over everybody. Just for that one reason ― for my brother."
His head coach at Pitt, Pat Narduzzi released the following statement Tuesday: "Damar Hamilton is far more than just a football player. He's a loving son, brother and friend. Damar is a hero to thousands of Pittsburgh kids.
"Damar, we love you. We are praying for you," he said. "Pittsburgh's always had your back. And now it's obvious the entire country has your back, too."
Outside of football, Hamlin branched out into his own business ventures, creating a clothing brand called Chasing M's, dedicated to "those who have a dream and pursue it ... and can't settle to be average," and has donated clothes from his brand to Pittsburgh-area high schools.
"I think, too often, in the football world people forget that underneath the football helmet and a jersey is a human. Damar is a great human being. He's an extremely loyal, supportive friend. A great teammate. Damar is the type of person that you know what you're going to get day in, day out," Petrishen told The Times. "...He's the type of person that checks all the boxes as a great person off the field.
"...He's a perfect role model for young kids to look up to, especially in Pittsburgh. In the Sto-Rox area where he's from, they view him as a hero."
Praying for recovery
In Hamlin’s hometown of McKees Rocks, a western Pennsylvania borough of roughly 6,000 people, residents are praying for the player and his family.
“We’re proud of him,” said Jamal Marshall, 33, of McKees Rocks, outside of a local bus stop. “I hope he recovers quick.”
Tricia Woodson, 48, of McKees Rocks, said her two nephews who play youth football are distraught after watching Hamlin’s injury. After finishing her grocery run at Aldi’s, she planned to donate to his toy drive.
“My heart just breaks for him and his mom,” Woodson said. “Lots of the kids here look up to him because I think it helps them see their potential. I’m just praying for him ... watching him be injured like that … everyone should donate so when he’s better he can see his impact.”
Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese Bishop David Zubik said in an emailed statement that everyone's prayers are with Hamlin and his family.
"As a graduate of Central Catholic High School and the University of Pittsburgh, Damar is part of our family," he said. "We, as a Catholic community, offer prayers for his recovery, and for God's comfort to fill the hearts of all of those who are praying for him, and awaiting updates on his condition.
Hamlin's family released a statement through his agent Jordan Rooney thanking the community for its support.
"On behalf of our family, we want to express our sincere gratitude for the love and support shown to Damar during this challenging time. We are deeply moved by the prayers, kind words, and donations from fans around the country," the statement read.
"We also want to acknowledge the dedicated first responders and healthcare professionals at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center who have provided exceptional care to Damar. We feel so blessed to be a part of the Buffalo Bills organization and to have their support. We also want to thank Coach Taylor and the Bengals for everything they’ve done," it continued.
Giving back to the community
Outside of his business venture, Hamlin initiated a toy drive for a local daycare in McKees Rocks as a senior at Pitt. The toy drive was the first program of his The Chasing M's Foundation in December 2020. Each year the initial fundraising goal is $2,500. Within hours of Hamlin's injury Monday night, the toy drive's GoFundMe page reached $1 million in donations. As of Tuesday, the toy drive has raised $3.9 million from 148,100 donations.
"I know that the type of response we've seen so far will make Damar extremely proud and happy," Petrishen said. "He's always wanted to have an impact on people and inspire people, and I think this is beyond anybody's expectations. This is obviously not the way we wanted things to happen, but he'll be proud to have the impact on people that he's had."
For Totten, that type of response from not only players across the NFL and the college landscape, and even on down to the high school level in western Pennsylvania, but also from fans across the country who don't know Hamlin personally, shows the type of impact Hamlin has made in his 24 years.
"He touched people in all situations," Totten said. "It wasn't effervescent, it's just a quiet, steady demeanor which endeared him to so many people he met along the way."
How much is Damar Hamlin worth? ›
A $160,476 signing bonus, $160,476 in guaranteed funds, and a $910,119 yearly salary are all included in his agreement. His base pay in 2023 will be $825,000. His dead cap value is $120,357, and his cap hit is $865,119. As per reports Damar Hamlin Net Worth is approximately $660,000 USD.Who was the Bills player that got hurt? ›
Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin remains hospitalized after collapsing during a Monday night match-up against the Cincinnati Bengals.Who is Damar Hamlin best friend? ›
One of Hamlin's closest friends, Indianapolis Colts safety Rodney Thomas II, spoke Thursday morning about the risky nature of football. While he said football is a dangerous sport, he called what happened to Hamlin a “freak accident.”What happened to Bills player? ›
Damar Hamlin's cardiac arrest: Here's what we know about what happened to the Buffalo Bills player. Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin has been released from a medical center in Buffalo, nine days after his cardiac arrest on the field during Monday Night Football.How much does Tom Brady make? ›
Tom Brady signed a 1 year, $15,000,000 contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, including $15,000,000 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $15,000,000. Contract Notes: 2022 Roster Bonus: $13.88M (fully guaranteed, treated as signing bonus) No-tag clause for 2023.
- Aaron Rodgers. GB, QB. $59,515,000.
- Deshaun Watson. CLE, QB. $46,000,000.
- Patrick Mahomes. KC, QB. $40,450,000.
- Kyler Murray. ARI, QB. $39,000,000.
- Dak Prescott. DAL, QB. $31,000,000.
Miami Dolphins quarterback Teddy Bridgewater suffered an injured finger on his throwing hand in Sunday's 23-21 loss to the New England Patriots and his availability for Week 18 is in question, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per a source.What team did the Bills lose to? ›
For the second consecutive season, the Bills season ends with a AFC Divisional round loss. Falling to the Bengals 27-10.How much does Damar Hamlin make? ›
Hamlin is in the second year of a four-year, $3.64 million contract after being drafted by the Bills in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft out of the University of Pittsburgh. Hamlin has miraculously recovered since collapsing in the first quarter of a game against the Bengals on "Monday Night Football."What exactly happened to Damar Hamlin? ›
“Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest following a hit in our game versus the Bengals. His heartbeat was restored on the field and he was transferred to the UC Medical Center for further testing and treatment,” the Bills said in a statement released early Tuesday.
Did Damar Hamlin get drafted? ›
Professional career. The Buffalo Bills selected Hamlin in the sixth round with the 212th overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft. He signed his four-year rookie contract with Buffalo on May 21, 2021.Are Miles Sanders and Damar Hamlin friends? ›
Hamlin also reunited with one of his childhood friends, Eagles running back Miles Sanders. The two appeared to be having fun ahead of the biggest game of the year. Maybe Hamlin is an Eagles fan for the day? Childhood best friends.What happened to the Buffalo Bills player that got hurt? ›
The NFL said Thursday it will not resume the Bills-Bengals game that was suspended Monday night after Buffalo safety Damar Hamlin collapsed and went into cardiac arrest on the field.What happened to Bills Safety? ›
Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest after making a tackle during Monday night's game, causing the NFL to suspend a pivotal game against the Cincinnati Bengals that quickly lost significance in the aftermath of a scary scene that unfolded in front of a national television audience.Why did they delay the Bills game? ›
The game had initially been postponed after Bills safety Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest during the game. NFL owners on Friday approved a resolution to potentially adjust the AFC playoffs in the case of there being a matchup between teams whose records were affected by the cancellation.How much is Subway paying Tom Brady? ›
The exact number is not known. However, Tom Brady reportedly earns in excess of $100,000,000 from numerous endorsements, which includes Subway.What is Gisele Brady salary? ›
Well, according to Celebrity Net Worth, Gisele Bündchen's net worth is $400 million, which is almost double what her husband Tom Brady is worth. She makes $40 million per year, according to Celebrity Net Worth. (The site reports that Brady is worth $250 million and has an annual $30 million salary.)Who is the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL? ›
- Aaron Rodgers contract: 4 years, $200 million ($150.8 million in guarantees)
- Aaron Rodgers salary: $1.15 million (2023)
- Signing bonus: $40.8 million.
- Average annual salary: $50.27 million.
How much do NFL referees make? The NFL won't disclose how much money their referees make, but based on the expired collective bargaining agreement from 2019, officials made an average of $201,000 per year, according to Money.com.Who is the richest NFL player in 2022? ›
Using data from Spotrac.com, we tracked the highest-paid player at every position in 2022 by the average annual value of their contract. Aaron Rodgers is the highest-paid player in the NFL, making $50.3 million per year, but players across the field can make great money in the NFL.
Who is a billionaire in the NFL? ›
Welcome to #BroncosCountry, Walton-Penner Family Ownership Group — let's go win some championships! The Denver Broncos sale also makes Rob Walton the richest owner in the NFL. Heir to the retail chain Walmart, Walton has an estimated net worth of $60 billion. He is ranked as the 19th world's richest person by Forbes.What NFL QB broke his neck? ›
Byrd suffered a neck injury during an NFL game against the Kansas City Chiefs on November 29, 1992. During the play, he rushed in an attempt to sack Chiefs quarterback Dave Krieg, but Krieg stepped up to avoid the tackle, and Byrd collided with Jets teammate Scott Mersereau.Who used to kick barefoot in NFL? ›
The trend began with Tony Franklin, who scored the league's first barefoot points as a rookie with the Eagles in 1979. Franklin had been kicking barefoot since he was a kid. He grew up in Texas and said he rarely wore shoes -- like, for anything -- during the hot summers.What Bills player broke his neck? ›
On September 9, 2007, Everett's playing career came to an end when he sustained a fracture and dislocation of his cervical spine that his doctors characterized as "life-threatening" the day after the injury, and stated it is likely to leave him with permanent neurological impairment.When did the Bills lose 4 in a row? ›
The club joined the National Football League (NFL) as part of the 1970 AFL-NFL merger. The Bills have the distinction of being the only team to advance to four consecutive Super Bowls between 1990 and 1993, but also the regrettable distinction of losing all four of them.Who kicked the Bills out of the playoffs? ›
The Cincinnati Bengals started fast against the Bills and ended Buffalo's season in the divisional round with a 27-10 win.Who did the Bills lose their 4 Super Bowls to? ›
There, however, they were soundly defeated by the Dallas Cowboys 52–17. Buffalo made it to a record fourth consecutive Super Bowl in 1994, but its rematch against the Cowboys ended in another disappointing loss in the big game.Does the NFL pay for injuries? ›
If an NFL player requires surgery due to an injury sustained while playing or practicing for the team, the NFL generally covers all surgical and medical expenses. That's part of the collective bargaining agreement between players (the NFLPA) and the NFL.How much does Patrick Mahomes make? ›
The contract extends until the 2031 season, and at the time of signing, it was the largest in American professional sports history; his average annual salary is around $45 million. In signing this deal, Patrick Mahomes officially became the first professional athlete to have a half a billion-dollar contract.What is Aaron Rodgers salary? ›
In 2023, Rodgers will earn a base salary of $1,165,000, a signing bonus of $58,300,000 and a workout bonus of $50,000, while carrying a cap hit of $31,623,568 and a dead cap value of $99,778,568.
What is Damar Hamlin diagnosis? ›
One reason he was on the breathing tube was that he demonstrated signs of acute respiratory distress syndrome, or ARDS, as it's known, which can occur when fluid gets into the lungs. I spoke to cardiologist Grant Simons of Hackensack University Medical Center about what this could mean for Hamlin's recovery.How is Damar Hamlin condition? ›
Damar Hamlin discharged from Buffalo hospital 9 days after suffering cardiac arrest during a game. Damar Hamlin, the Buffalo Bills safety who collapsed on the field after suffering cardiac arrest during a game last week, has been discharged from the New York hospital where he was admitted on Monday.Will damar play again? ›
NFL Players Association medical director Thom Mayer has guaranteed that Hamlin will play football again, and Hamlin was asked about returning to the field during a recorded interview with Michael Strahan on Fox.How much does Denny Hamlin get paid? ›
He has won 48 Cup Series races, including 2016, 2017, and 2020. His salary as of 2022 is $13.1 million, and he has a net worth of $65 million. Denny is the fourth racer to win the Daytona 500 in consecutive seasons.
The Buffalo Bills safety suffered cardiac arrest and collapsed on the field in Cincinnati. Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin, whose on-the-field collapse sent shockwaves throughout the sport, will play professional football again, a physician close to the player said Wednesday.How old is Damar Hamlin? › Is Damar Hamlin at Super Bowl 2023? ›
Super Bowl 2023: Damar Hamlin honored on field, accompanied by caregivers, takes picture with LeBron James - CBSSports.com.Will Damar Hamlin be at the Super Bowl? ›
Damar Hamlin has made it to the Super Bowl.The Buffalo Bills safety made his third appearance in Phoenix during Super Bowl week, this time on the field at State Farm Stadium prior to Sunday's game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles.It's been a little more than a month since Hamlin went into cardiac ...Was Hamlin at the Super Bowl? ›
Updated on February 12, 2023 at 7:34 pm. Damar Hamlin stepped back onto the football field on Sunday. The Buffalo Bills safety made an appearance at the Super Bowl prior to the start of the matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles at State Farm Stadium in Phoenix.What player was hurt on Monday Night Football? ›
But in the case of Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin, who collapsed to the ground after a tackle during the “Monday Night Football” game between the Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals, it quickly became apparent that this was no broken arm or torn ACL. This was a matter of life and death.
What Bills player is out of the hospital? ›
8, 2021, in Inglewood, Calif. Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin has been discharged from the hospital following his return home to Buffalo, N.Y., after suffering cardiac arrest and collapsing during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Jan.What happened during the Bills game? ›
CINCINNATI (WXIX) - The Bengals-Bills game is officially postponed after a Bills player was defibrillated on-field at Paycor Stadium following his sudden collapse Monday night. The Bills say 24-year-old Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest following a hit during the game.What was Buffalo Bills last words? ›
Just as he is about to shoot Starling, she hears him behind her, turns around and opens fire, killing him. In the novel, he addresses his final words to her, asking her, "How does it feel to be so beautiful?" before choking to death on his own blood.Who is the free safety for the Bills? ›
The Bills have signed free agent safety Zayne Anderson to a two-year deal, the team announced Friday. Anderson, a 6-foot-2, 206-pound safety, spent the last two seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, appearing in seven games during that span.Who did the Bills fire? ›
(AP) — The Buffalo Bills have fired safeties coach Jim Salgado, a person with direct knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press on Thursday.Can the Bills still get the 1 seed? ›
Buffalo can still get the No. 1 seed if they beat the New England Patriots and the Chiefs lose to the Raiders. The Bengals had a shot at the No. 1 seed but do not anymore because they needed to win in Week 17 and 18 and have the Chiefs lose the finale.Do the Bills have a chance to make the playoffs? ›
The Buffalo Bills (13-3) have clinched a playoff berth.Did the Bills game get Cancelled? ›
Commissioner Roger Goodell called the decision to cancel the game “difficult, but necessary” under the “extraordinary circumstances.” Hamlin, a 24-year-old starting safety for Buffalo, went into cardiac arrest after making what appeared to be a routine tackle during the first quarter Monday.How did Denny Hamlin make his money? ›
Denny Hamlin Career Earnings
He has won 48 NASCAR Cup Series races, placing him as one of the highest-paid racers in NASCAR. His total career earnings come to an astounding $77 million in winnings from races since he began racing in 2005.
Estimated net worth: US$10 million
In a few short years, Amelia has grown both an impressive personal net worth and social media following. On Instagram alone, the youngest Hamlin sister boasts 1.1 million followers, and her model earnings are said to be hovering around US$10 million.
How much do the Buffalo Bills players make? ›
|Player (51)||Pos.||Avg. Salary|
Personal life. In addition to his football career, Hamlin is a fashion entrepreneur, having started a fashion line, Chasing Millions, while at the University of Pittsburgh. In 2020, Hamlin started organizing annual charity Christmas toy drives in his hometown of McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania.What did Denny Hamlin get penalized for? ›
Denny Hamlin has said thanks, but no thanks to the $25,000 fine he was assessed by NASCAR for speaking ill of the new Generation 6 cars.How much does FedEx pay for NASCAR? ›
FedEx is tapping its estimated $12 million sponsorship of Joe Gibbs Racing for employee incentives, from free and discounted tickets to FedEx Racing merchandise and staff-only content on its Web site, Fedexracing.com. It's the only sponsorship in FedEx's wide portfolio that carries a large employee-incentive component.Who is the highest paid NASCAR driver of all time? ›
The highest paid NASCAR driver in the World is Kyle Busch.
Busch races for the Richard Childress Racing team and has a salary of $16.9 million annually as of 2023. He drives a Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, and his car number is 8.
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She's been on Real Housewives since 2015. Erika has been stockpiling her RHOBH salary for almost 7 years. That's reportedly $600,000 a season, according to The New York Times (FWIW: Longtime cast members Kyle Richards and Lisa Rinna make $500,000 a season).What is Lisa Rinna net worth? ›
What Is Lisa Rinna's Net Worth? Lisa is worth an estimated $10 million as of January 2023, according to Celebrity Net Worth.How much does a NFL Waterboy make a game? ›
Former NFL player Jake Thieneman claimed in a TikTok clip that an average NFL water boy makes around $53.000, noting that the actual figure depends on the team's status and the applicant's experience.How much does a waterboy make in the NFL? ›
How much does an NFL waterboy make? The typical starting salary for a waterboy is $53,000 per year according to stack.com. However, with more experience one can earn a lot more than this. Waterboys are also provided with certain perks that can help push their salaries even higher.
What is the lowest NFL salary? ›
Players with less than two accrued seasons get $11,500/week -- that's $207,000 for a full season. Older players on practice squad can negotiate between $15,400/week ($277,200) and $19,900/week ($358,200). Looking ahead, NFL CBA has nice raises for practice squad players in 2022.What did Damar Hamlin major in? ›
earned his bachelor's degree in communication and is pursuing a second major in sociology.