Last March the Raiders traded All-Pro guard Kelechi Osemele to the New York Jets to move up from a sixth-round pick to a fifth-rounder in March. No question the Jets were getting a talented player in Osemele, but the Jets haven’t had the chance to see Osemele at his best because his short time in New York has been marred by a torn labrum that he suffered in training camp and aggravated in October.
Now, issues have arisen between the Jets and the 30-year-old guard, as New York’s team doctors believe he should return despite the fact that two doctors outside the team have told Osemele that he requires shoulder surgery, according to Bleacher Reports Adam Lefkoe.
Jets OL Kelechi Osemele has been told by two doctors that he needs shoulder surgery, per source.— Adam Lefkoe (@AdamLefkoe) October 18, 2019
The source says the Jets have been attempting to delay surgery by sending blank and incorrect MRI images to doctors...even going as far as refusing to release workers comp forms.
The Jets have apparently been trying to get Osemele back in the fold by “sending blank and incorrect MRI images to doctors,” in an attempt to trick them into clearing him for football activities.
New York’s doctors have provided Osemele with the painkiller Toradol before each of his three starts this season, but the pain has apparently become too great for him to play through.
“It’s been killing me. I’m just trying to get this done,” Osemele said at a press conference. “I’ve done everything I can. I’ve been at work every day, waking up at 5 in the morning, doing all the rehab and the treatments and stuff like that. I’m like the last dude out of here at night. I’m doing everything I can.
“I’m working with my agent. We’re communicating with the team. There’s just not communication between the team and my doctor and my agent. It’s just been butting heads for whatever reason. Hopefully, it gets resolved soon.”
Per the New York Daily News, the Jets plan to fine or suspend Osemele for conduct detrimental to the team if he refuses to report for practice, an act his doctor’s have recommended.
If Osemele is put on injured reserve, his $9.85 million salary becomes fully guaranteed. Currently, they’ve only paid a portion of that salary and still owe approximately $5.79 million, but that amount could be lessened or outright voided if the Jets follow through with a potential suspension.
This situation is complicated, as Jets officials believe that Osemele’s condition might be pre-existing from his time with Oakland and would like to keep him from having surgery until the offseason and have him playing an integral role on an offensive line devoid of talent. If they are indeed compromising the integrity of his MRI’s and refusing to release workers comp forms as Lefkoe reported, they could be looking at a massive lawsuit.