A couple notes of caution here:
- Teams are under no requirement to provide details on surgeries in the offseason, much less timetables to return. We've learned over the years that many arthroscopic surgeries turned out to be more serious.
- Hatcher had pain in both of his knees before the injury. He had a career year in Dallas as a versatile interior pass rusher, but he wasn't as effective in the second half of the year because of lingering injuries.
To put it another way: If Hatcher had this surgery before free agency, there's no way the Redskins would have paid him nearly as much.