After a shady debacle put the New York Jets and Kelechi Osemele at odds over whether or not he should have surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder, the organization officially released him on Saturday.
The #Jets have released OL Kelechi Osemele, rather than place him on IR. The grievances will follow.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 26, 2019
The former Raiders guard played three games for the Jets this year but suffered a serious shoulder injury that caused a disagreement between him and the front office. The Jets’ team doctors thought Osemele should try to play through the injury and push the eventual surgery back until the offseason, while the former All-Pro’s personal doctors suggested that he undergo the procedure as early as possible to be healthy this offseason.
The Jets reportedly pulled some suspicious moves to try and influence Osemele to play, tampering with MRI images, refusing to release workers comp forms, fining him for conduct detrimental to the team, and threatening suspension.
On Friday, Osemele elected to have surgery despite the team’s wishes, and the Jets responded by placing a ‘doubtful’ designation on him. It is hilarious that they initially gave him a doubtful designation, acting as if there was a minuscule chance that he’d play a mere two days post-surgery.
Rather than placing Osemele on injured reserve, the Jets decided to keep him as far away from their team doctors as possible, eating his remaining salary in the process.
The NFLPA is considering taking legal action against New York due to their chicanery, which will likely result in an investigation and could end in massive team fines or even draft pick deduction.
Meanwhile, Osemele will have time to rehab with his team doctors and get healthy before free agency. He is not the player he once was in Oakland, but Osemele is still a capable starter in a league where offensive linemen are at a major premium.
A return to the Silver & Black next season won’t be out of the question if it doesn’t break the bank. After all, the Raiders traded him in March to move up from a seventh- to a sixth-round pick mostly to dump his salary. Plus, it isn’t like they’ll be able to count on Richi Incognito to be back next season.
If any Raiders fans make their way to MetLife Stadium for the Week 12 bout, make sure to give them some extra flak in support of Osemele.