When I heard about the terrible achilles injury suffered by Denver Broncos left tackle Ju’Wuan James on Tuesday, I thought it would have a major ripple affect around the league this offseason as players see the reality of what is facing them.
Broncos' OT Ja'Wuan James’ contract tolled last year, so he was playing under his 2020 contract this year, which had $10 million guaranteed for skill and injury, and another $10 million in 2021. So it’s a $20 million potential torn Achilles injury today. https://t.co/jj10uOm298— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 4, 2021
James is part of the majority of NFL players staying away from their team’s facilities this offseason and working out on their own. Most NFL rosters (including the Las Vegas Raiders) have decided that most of the players on the roster will forego the voluntary portion of the offseason because it was recommended to them by the NFL Players Association. Some players are working out at the team facility in Las Vegas and around the NFL because they have roster bonuses tied into the voluntary workouts.
Wednesday, the NFL took James’ horrible injury as a time to remind teams (and players, of course) that all offseason injuries suffered away from the team are considered non-football injuries and the franchises are not responsible for paying the player’s salary for the upcoming season.
Regarding Broncos T Ja'Wuan James, who suffered torn Achilles working out on his own, NFL Management Council sent memo to clubs saying if player is hurt "working out on his own" that's a non-football injury and teams have no contractual obligation to provide salary continuation.— Sam Farmer (@LATimesfarmer) May 5, 2021
In plain English. James is out of luck.
His unfortunate situation will clearly be digested by players from around the league.
It will be interesting to see if many players decide to end their boycott and work out at the their team’s facility. Things are getting very interesting this offseason and James, sadly, is the one to suffer.