Broncos release Ja’Wuan James

Denver Broncos v Oakland Raiders
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Ja'Wuan James is now a former member of the Broncos.

The NFL’s daily transaction report brings word that James has been released. The Broncos placed James on the reserve/non-football injury list last week after he tore his Achilles while working out on his own away from the team’s facility.

News of his release comes shortly after James sent a tweet saying the NFLPA has to “have our backs‘ if they are going to advise players not to participate in offseason programs with their teams.

Because James was away from the team when he got hurt, he stands to lose $9.85 million salary for the year and the team could also try to recoup a portion of his signing bonus. That makes it a costly injury and it may also be one that leads other players to change their plans for the offseason.

The Broncos signed Bobby Massie and Cameron Fleming this week as options to fill the hole left by James at right tackle.

68 responses to “Broncos release Ja’Wuan James

  1. I don’t blame the Broncos. Sometimes you have to look out for yourself. The Broncos sure did. I feel sorry for him though. A business is a business. It’s nothing personal. Hope other players learn from this.

  2. touchback6 says:
    May 14, 2021 at 6:04 pm
    Just a classless organization from top to bottom.

    Broncos or NFLPA?

  3. No sense messing around. His signing bonus is now the next thing for Denver to go after. NFLPA needs to fight or financially cover him or face significant damage in credibility with the working stiff.

  4. I’m not a Donco fan but They have every right to cut this guy loose & let the NFL Players Association do right by him….

  5. The NFL still has:

    Marijuana testing
    Franchise tags
    Non-fully guaranteed salaries
    17 game seasons (and 18 is not far behind)

    Why should players take anything the NFLPA says seriously?

    And now, because he followed their recommendations, he’s out of a job.

  6. NFLPA needs to pay him outright or through an insurance claim. It’s on them.

  7. find a better agent and make sure you understand your contract before you sign it next time.

  8. He knew the risk he was taking. I feel bad for him because he has a long road to recovery ahead. But at the end of the day this is on him.

  9. I’m definitely not a broncos fan but to call them a classless organization for looking out for themselves this guy should call it a wash how many game checks has he collected from actually playing for the broncos or being on IR the last two years?

  10. “…the hole left by James at right tackle.”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    well said.

  11. The issue is that he signed a big contract, got hurt, opted out the following year, and the got hurt with a season ending injury again. You can’t fault the Broncos for moving on. We don’t know if they reached an “injury settlement” of some form that allowed him to make some of the money he lost by being injured. But he didn’t play for the team in 3 years and made multiple millions of dollars. Any person hired to do a job and then can’t do it for 3 years for various reasons would likely be let go by their place of work. He still made a good salary in the time he was there. He’s done just fine.

  12. The two most powerful unions in professional sports (MLB and NBA) derive that power from guaranteed salaries for the players. It puts them on nearly an equal playing field with the owners, and it actually allows them to bargain together in what is mostly good faith to bring in more revenue that benefits both sides. The NFLPA can never win guaranteed salaries, because the players aren’t unified to sit out for probably two whole seasons, which is what it would take at this point to even have the owners consider some type of guaranteed salary structure. Without that, the NFLPA is basically a worthless entity. What competent organization would advise players to work out away from team facilities (and why) knowing that an injury would result in a salary forfeiture? It’s ludicrous.

  13. touchback6 says:
    May 14, 2021 at 6:04 pm

    Just a classless organization from top to bottom.

    ———————-

    Classless? Well if that’s not an example of “the pot calling the kettle black” I don’t know what is?

  14. nflpa has put it’s players in a no win scenario.they advise against working out at team facilities and then complain when players are hurt outside of team facilities.damned if you do and damned if you don’t

  15. It’s business. It’s more than just sad that the NFL keeps law breakers on their teams but cuts a player if they get injured working out.

  16. Probably just a business decision but it’s also a shot right across the NFLPA’s bow. Are they going to do anything to stand behind James who was following official union advice? Or just stammer a bunch of platitudes and claim they’re going to do something but then just let it fade away?

  17. I see our next NFL vs NFLPA grievance coming in five, four, three, two and one…

    Although the decision to work out off property was the players, the fact is that he was not breaking any rules as the participation in team activities is OPTIONAL right now and I’m sure the team supports the players in staying in shape during the off-season.

    Working out is for the benefit of the team. It’s not like the player was skydiving or doing wheelies on a motorcycle when he got hurt. I think this is a big PR mistake by the team, but understandable in this current “covid” $$$ state of the NFL.

  18. Not a fan of Denver but I don’t think they should still be paying for 3 games played in 2019.

  19. For example when Michael Strahan was at the end of his career he didn’t go to mini camps or anything but he earned that right, I think a lot of players are using Covid as a chance to not have to go to work. You can get injured doing anything and use the excuse that you did it while working from home. If you get hurt, you better get hurt at work, and if your using Covid as an excuse to stay at home be prepared to deal with the consequences. The NFLPA is like the UAW there going to fight for the workers all they can but there are limits. The Broncos provide the most expensive safest facilities to work out and practice at, who knows what your doing at home? Plus I he hasn’t been the best employee in the past Im sure the Broncos weren’t to heart broken to save that money and put it towards something that improves the franchise. Don’t blame the Broncos one bit.

  20. NFLPA needs to get their act together and learn to play on the same level as the NFL owners. Their ignorance and bad advice just cost Ja’Wuan James millions.

  21. You need to think about the future free agents and current players if you are the organization. No way players want to go there especially Aaron Rodgers.

  22. This is a player NFLPA problem and not a player team problem. I hope people get that.

  23. Unions giving people bad advice, it’s like a broken record

  24. Just listened to sports talk show where they were trashing the Broncos because Ja’Wuan had been such a valuable player for the team and how they are classless for not supporting such a trooper who had given so much to the team.

    Nowhere did they mention that he only played 3 games in 3 years and had made $17 mill doing it. Nor did they mention that the best, most safe place to keep in shape are the team facilities.

    Owners don’t give interviews. You would think this guy was going on the bread line and didn’t have a choice as to where he worked out.

  25. Nothing wrong with what the Broncos did. But I do feel bad for James. The NFLPA is horribly run.

  26. This is not a situation where PA can release a statement only. Players are going to want to see action, ie arbitration. Players are going to want Jones paid. I’m not saying there will be but they could vote on disbanding the union if the union merely releases a statement and does nothing.

  27. Blame the NFL. Blame the NFLPA. I blame the player. He was placed on IR twice with the Dolphins.

  28. Thank God this guy is finally gone, he was raking in money for doing nothing for 3 years. So in the end it looks like he got what was coming to him.

  29. It’s a cold move, but Broncos are doing what’s in their best interest and likely has NFL’s backing as they warned from the onset that injuries won’t be covered if it’s away from the facilities. It’s on the union for saying otherwise.

  30. “Are they going to do anything to stand behind James who was following official union advice? Or just stammer a bunch of platitudes and claim they’re going to do something but then just let it fade away?”

    My money is on option 2. It is what the NFLPA is best at. Ignore it and hope it will disappear.

  31. lionsnati0n says:
    May 14, 2021 at 6:43 pm

    For example when Michael Strahan was at the end of his career he didn’t go to mini camps or anything but he earned that right, I think a lot of players are using Covid as a chance to not have to go to work. You can get injured doing anything and use the excuse that you did it while working from home. If you get hurt, you better get hurt at work, and if your using Covid as an excuse to stay at home be prepared to deal with the consequences. The NFLPA is like the UAW there going to fight for the workers all they can but there are limits. The Broncos provide the most expensive safest facilities to work out and practice at, who knows what your doing at home? Plus I he hasn’t been the best employee in the past Im sure the Broncos weren’t to heart broken to save that money and put it towards something that improves the franchise. Don’t blame the Broncos one bit.

    “I think a lot of players are using Covid as a chance to not have to go to work”.

    Yea, they been busting their arse for their whole life just so they can take a year off and get a stipend of 150,000 to 350,000 grand. Then hope they can get their job back after a year off. Guess that’s why they are just wired different then you seem to be. But everyone is entitled to their option.

  32. This isn’t a Ray Buchanan-Jerry Jones situation. The Broncos chose to keep this player at this salary regardless of this skill level. They had all off season to cut him or ask for a paycut. No they’re not obligated to pay him, yes players even Marcus Lattimore who was hurt in college can be placed on NFLI list by rule…but PA and players have to draw a line in the sand and protect their interest here. I don’t know how they proceed but doing nothing won’t suffice.

  33. If he didn’t raise such a stink about the lost pay over his injury he’d still be on the roster at least going into camp next year. Play stupid games…

  34. theitalianarmy says:
    May 14, 2021 at 7:34 pm

    He opted out then got hurt. Not a good look.
    —————————————————————————
    Those two things might be related.

  35. So if they pay another 9+ million will he play 3 more games over the next 3 years for them? Dude made 17 million for 3 games, he lost nothing. Good riddance.

  36. The NFLPA is the lamest union in professional sports. And whoever his agent is should be ashamed.

  37. charliecharger says:
    May 14, 2021 at 7:11 pm
    Good luck trying to sign future free agents.
    ____________

    They’ll be just fine. The Broncos have always taken care of their players in the past. This is a scenario where the league specifically warned players of the risks of training away from team facilities. The Broncos didn’t want James to get hurt. They wanted him to play right tackle for them just like they paid him handsomely to (not) do over the past two years. But he went against the team and league’s guidance and worked out on his own and got injured. So now you expect them to not only pay his salary, but the salaries of his replacements? Makes no sense whatsoever.

  38. Don’t post this: per former De Smith Challenger. Problem has always been accrued seasons as much as loss of salary. Which makes it a pension issue as well. By releasing or NFI, player hurt doing football related activities doesn’t get credit towards pension. NFLPA strongly continues to take issue with this.

  39. With so many millions of dollars at stake, I can’t fathom taking the path where you take on all the risk yourself instead of just going to team facilities where you’re protected no matter what happens to you. Add the thin ice he was already on after two years of no play and it’s just baffling.

    The guy’s made more money from playing 3 games than most people would make in 400 years of employment. Looks like the money was just a bit too easy.

  40. If I’m a top tier FA I’m crossing the Broncos off my list. Trash organization. Aaron Rodgers better take note.

  41. He should have bought insurance to protect himself in the event of injury, and he probably would have done that if someone from his union (or his agent) suggested that to him

  42. Mondinco some people were just blessed with the size and strength to be recognized doesn’t mean they earned it.

  43. If u were under contract for 10M I would do everything within my power to make sure I didn’t jeopardize that money..I would take showers at the facility to make sure I didn’t slip somewhere else!

  44. If you are player, then treat the off-season for it is- vacation. Don’t work out! Especially while you still have a guaranteed contract. If you are angling for a new deal, then think about the risk

  45. All NFL team warned the players about this. It’s in the CBA they collectively bargained for and now this guy is crying the blues. Most expensive Achilles tear in history… just go work out at the team facility or don’t but let this be a lesson.

  46. Boo-hoo. He’s made more money by age 28 than most of us will see in our lifetime. He’s had more than his fair share of good fortune. I could care less. Easy come easy go when you play a game for a living.

  47. Grow a pair. This matter is controlled by the CBA which was voted on by the players and approved by the NFLPA. If you don’t like it, quit the game and go work at the burger shack.

  48. he’s played three games in two years. he ripped the broncos off.
    .

  49. What should the Bronco’s do, pay him for being such a great player? He made BIG money for 3 games! He’s on his own with this one.

  50. He was never a star in Miami and when Broncos signed him for that big contract and he then opts out a full season along with all his injuries at his age its time to cut bait and move on.

  51. I’m not going to criticize someone from opting ..we don’t know their family situation..keep in mind they didn’t get their salary when they opted out..however the reality is that most 20-30 year old men did more covid risky things than play football

  52. People saying you have to stay in shape and the team should encourage you to work out in the offseason are missing the point. Team facilities are open all year you can workout at them whenever you want and be covered if you get hurt.

    The nflpa is not just telling players to skip the voluntary camps they’re telling players to NOT workout at team facilities period. This is on the NFLPA.

  53. I think the lesson that players will draw from this is not to workout (nothing strenuous, at least) during the off-season, or when away from the team. I can see this decision by the Broncos having a negative impact on player conditioning across the league.

  54. The NFLPA should have taken out insurance on behalf of the players for injuries sustained outside team facilities before suggesting as much to the players. They always were, are, and most likely continue to be a failure.

    Given players know this…or should…they themselves should obtain insurance for such cases…of course they don’t and it would not be cheap to do so for sure.

    As far as Brady’s little pep talk regarding off-season work…take it with care…he is always looking for a competitive advantage and getting rid of off-season work, with his age, is a competitive advantage!

  55. The real lesson here is, if you are not performing, then you should expect those paying you MILLIONS of dollars to look for a contractual way to cut their losses.

    This has nothing to do with anything but the CONTRACT. Classless? No, but sure as hell is SMART.

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