Broncos’ Ja’Wuan James to miss 2021 season with torn Achilles

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Broncos offensive tackle Ja'Wuan James is expected to miss the entire 2021 NFL season after suffering a torn Achilles today.

James experienced the injury while working out on his own, away from the team facility, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. That he got hurt on his own — and not at the voluntary team workouts that many players are choosing not to attend this offseason — means the Broncos are not obligated to pay his $10 million salary for 2021.

One of the risks inherent in the NFL Players Association’s strategy of encouraging players not to report to offseason work was that a player would suffer a serious injury on his own, and James appears to be the first player to suffer a serious injury while taking that risk.

A first-round draft pick of the Dolphins in 2014, James signed with the Broncos in 2019. He managed to play just three games in Denver that year because of a knee injury, and then he opted out of the 2020 season because of COVID-19. Now it will likely be at least another year before he’s ready to return to the field.

47 responses to “Broncos’ Ja’Wuan James to miss 2021 season with torn Achilles

  1. Lost out on 10 million because he was not satisficed with Covid protocols at the team’s facility (or at least that’s what the NFLPA said). Ouch!

  2. This clearly demonstrates why those failing to report and do their training under team direction are just being negligent to themselves & their families. Insurance against this should be created & covered by the NFLPA for these incidents. The players should pay into the pool & ensure they are financially covered.

  3. I told you the broncos should have drafted slater. Now the broncos will have to trade for a right tackle or sign one in order to get Rodgers there. Rodgers isn’t going there with a weakened line.

  4. Missing three seasons in a row is never a good thing…especially for O-Linemen. Raw deal, but the NFL (as a career choice) has no sympathy for sad stories.

  5. Dang bro maybe should have been with the team. I have heard achilles tears are kinda painful but at least they are not as annoying as getting swabbed in the nose daily, good call Ja’Wuan.

  6. With the first pick in the 2022 NFL Draft the Denver Broncos select…..

  7. Something I did not consider: that $10 million will help pay for Rodgers and they might move risner to tackle.

    So this could actually work out well for the broncos

  8. For any player working out on their own, especially if they sat out during 2020, watch out! Those tendons don’t like to be overloaded after a long hiatus. How many times do you see athletes with pulled hamstrings and knee strains after coming back from a long rehab period on a major injury. Get back to your teams and stay protected!

  9. Well that sucks for him in every way. Hopefully he recovers quickly.

  10. At least his season ending injury/decision happened now and not the first week of the year. It was bound to happen sooner or later. This is what happens when you sit out two seasons.

  11. Opt-out meaning contract tolled so he’s looking at potentially a lot more than $10M if it’s deemed NFI b/c off site (per suggestion of NFLPA).

    MIA could not have been happier to see him gone. Never been the guy.

  12. Wow that is terrible for him. He only played 3 games in 2019, then opted out of 2020, and now is out for 2021. I hope he can recover his career.

  13. I’m sure the NFLPA will make good on his $10 million loss, considering they actively advocate for all their members to stay away from team facilities except when specifically mandated.

    NFLPA’s position on voluntary off-season workouts is so incredibly stupid, any which way you look at it. NFLPA leadership should be fired. JC Tretter in particular.

  14. Probably Elway’s worst FA signing. Considering the list, that’s saying something.

  15. This guy needs to go now! He has done absolutely nothing for the Broncos in 3 years. Year 1 he’s hurt all season. Year 2, he bails on the team for the entire season. Now he hurts himself while at home because he doesn’t want to attend workouts at the facility after two years off. Hands down the worst free agent signing they’ve made as far back as I can remember. The other 31 teams do not need to waste their time with this guy. 51 million dollars for 65 snaps from a guy that wants no part of the NFL.

  16. So even though they don’t have to pay him, does his contract still count against the cap since he’s still technically part of the team?

  17. This cautionary tale is why you work out to keep yourself at a razors edge where you are covered for injury. Disagree? Ask Mr Williams his opinion then I would urge you to put yourself in his shoes at this moment. That 10 could’ve been his last football money with it being an Achilles injury. He’s a quick twitch burst athlete as DBs, WR, RB are. He comes back at 90% he may be out of work, or may be making significantly less. All for choosing to workout one place versus another, anyone here think 10 million is worth that??

  18. Possibility he’s cut, with an injury settlement. Several mil, likely.

  19. They’ll be fine, they traded up in front of Miami for a RB while the stupid Dolphins traded up for a RT.

  20. Failing to report and then getting hurt working out by yourself is just insane. I would not pay him the $10 million. They “owed” it to him until HE hurt HIMSELF. Sad news but he should have been in camp required or not.

  21. He lost 10 mill, but the value of wile points he gained from refusing to workout w his team are priceless.

  22. kenmasters34 says:
    May 4, 2021 at 5:45 pm
    Wow that is terrible for him. He only played 3 games in 2019, then opted out of 2020, and now is out for 2021. I hope he can recover his career.


    Wow…those are Isaiah Wynn type participation statistics!

  23. Frankly, if I was the Broncos….he would be SOL…3 games from 19-21…after a few teams make an example of it, they will report.

    Don’t know about the rest of you….but I didnt have ‘voluntary report to work days’.

  24. Yes, the guy made a poor choice,but it is still sad. He didn’t deserve it.

  25. At least he won’t have to endure a terrible season the Donkies are about to face.

  26. considering he’s only played three games, he still came out way ahead.
    don’t feel sorry for him.

  27. WOW, i cant stand the Donkeys but that’s a terrible break for the guy. Losing money also, he just might be done.

  28. Lost out on 10 million because he was not satisficed with Covid protocols at the team’s facility (or at least that’s what the NFLPA said). Ouch!

    Oh well. These players need to quit complaining about everything and get to OTA’S.

  29. upnorthvikesfan

    An excellent question. I’d imagine if they don’t pay him the $, how could it toll on the cap? If that’s the case he’s screwed cause then there is no benefit even PR, to paying him a dime.

  30. Hey Broncos Miami may have an extra right tackle if you give us back our running back you snipped in the draft….KARMA…

  31. It is precisely because of this kind of scenario that center BJ Finney, picked up in free agency by the Seahawks in 2020, chose not to work out on his own. Then when he finally did report, he was rusty and out of shape, and demoted to 3rd string. Eventually was packaged to the Bengals in the trade that brought in Carlos Dunlap.

    The league set up some pretty perverse incentives with this system, but can’t say I blame Finney on this one.

  32. Doug Gambill says:
    May 4, 2021 at 5:47 pm
    Probably Elway’s worst FA signing. Considering the list, that’s saying something.

    Considering Elway’s best FA signing was a top 10 signing in NFL history, he gets a little bit of slack. James was a bad signing but nowhere near bottom 10 in NFL history.

  33. I didn’t even know he was still in the league….guess he soon actually won’t be….The Donkos can’t be upset, they just saved 10 million

  34. unlike most of the chumps in here I will say good luck on your recovery Ja’Wuan

  35. Taking his job seriously and remote working. Too bad. Should have been binging on netflix and pizzas. Use the preseason and first few games to get into shape. Kind of a rookie mistake.

  36. Cut him already. Do it as a favor to him. No injury settlement. None. He’s completely made of glass.

  37. NFLPA was focused on what is bad for ownership instead of what is good for players on this one.

  38. Team dodges one and guy’s career is in jeopardy. Oh well, who needs off-season work at the facility? Let’s hear it for the NFLPA!

  39. This is a huge wake up call across the league and should re focus players minds.

  40. Lets see how much the union actually supports players… he did what they said, and now he’s out $10,000,000 lolol

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