Lions Waive Former Cal WR Chad Hansen


The notion that quarterback Jared Goff and wide receiver Chad Hansen would become the passing combination in Detroit that they had been as Cal teammates was destroyed Tuesday when the Lions waived Hansen with an injury settlement.

Hansen was a long shot to make the Lions roster, but when he suffered an unspecified injury last week that prevented him from practicing since then, his fate was sealed.

He did not play at all in Detroit’s first preseason game on Friday, and was let go as the Lions got downs to the 85-player limit before Tuesday’s deadline.

Hansen had established a name for himself in 2020, when he played in five games, including two starts, for the Houston Texans. He recorded 17 catches for 236 yards and one touchdown, and in the Dec. 6 game against the Colts he had five catches for 101 yards.

The Texans released him after the season, but the Lions signed him on June 18.

It is significant that the Lions waived him with an injury settlement.

Injury settlements are agreements between players and teams spelling out compensation and other terms in which the two parties will immediately part ways.

For example, if a player suffered a preseason injury such as an MCL partial tear, it usually takes about six weeks to heal and for the player to get back to full strength. If the player sustained the injury in the final week of the preseason (seven days prior to the 53-player cut-down date) and all parties agreed it would take six weeks for a full recovery, the parties may agree on a five-week regular game settlement.

A five-week settlement is appropriate because the first week of the six weeks is still during the preseason. Thus, the player would likely have missed five weeks of the regular season on the inactive or the injured reserve list. Therefore, the team will pay the player for those five weeks in exchange for releasing the team of liability. So the player will be paid 5/17th of his salary (there are 17 weeks in the season.)

The Lions season opener is not until September 12, and Hansen apparently was injured about four weeks before the start of the regular-season. But Hansen’s injury may have been significant enough that it would have kept him out of at least one regular-season game. The number of regular-season games he was projected to miss would determine the amount of his injury settlement.

Hansen is a free agent and can look to sign with another team when he becomes healthy again.

He spent two seasons at Cal – 2015 and 2016. In 2015, when Goff was Cal’s quarterback, Hansen caught 19 passes for 249 yards and a touchdown. He was more productive in 2016, when David Webb, now a backup quarterback for the Bills, was Cal’s quarterback.

Hansen had 92 receptions for 1,249 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2016, before leaving after his junior year to enter the NFL draft. He was a fourth-round pick of the New York Jets in the 2017 draft, but he had just nine receptions in regular-season games before his 2020 breakout season.


Cover photo of Chad Hansen by Junfu Han via Imagn Content Services, LLC


Follow Jake Curtis of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jakecurtis53

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