Ja’Wuan James: NFLPA needs to have our backs if we’re injured away from team facilities

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The NFL Players Association is advising players not to participate in voluntary offseason workouts at team facilities. Two players on the Broncos have suffered season-ending injuries away from team facilities this offseason. And one of those players seems unhappy with the NFLPA, given that his injury away from the team facility allows the Broncos to avoid paying him.

Broncos offensive tackle Ja'Wuan James, who suffered a torn Achilles tendon away from the team facility, stands to lose his $9.85 million salary this season, and perhaps even more than that, as the team could even go after previously earned signing bonus money. James indicated on Twitter today that he’s having second thoughts about following the NFLPA’s advice.

“@NFLPA if your gonna advise all of us we need you to have our backs on the other end of this,” James wrote.

James didn’t say specifically what he wanted the NFLPA to show it has his back, but he quote-tweeted Troy Renck of Denver 7, who suggested that the NFLPA should provide players with either direct payment from the union or an insurance policy that protects them in the event that they suffer an injury while following the NFLPA’s guidance about staying away from team facilities.

38 responses to “Ja’Wuan James: NFLPA needs to have our backs if we’re injured away from team facilities

  1. I am usually on the players side but this is ridiculous. This rule has been known by the general public for years… how is it news to players?!

  2. NFLPA is the weakest union since unions become a thing.

    You listened to them even after the NFL warned you injuries would result in loss of compensation.

  3. This is why there’s a CBA that the players get to vote on that included this rule in it that not even Mahomes knew about. How about you guys read what you’re signing for instead of being mad it exists and has always existed after you signed off on it each CBA.

  4. Union member and Broncos fan here. Part of a phenomenal union that has been nothing short of amazing in battling for mental health workers (newly negotiated contract in April). That being said, if the NFLPA isn’t willing to back these players financially, what’s the use? D. Smith has been great for NFL owners, not surprised they are dropping the ball on the James’ situation. If they are not prepared to fully back their players, then what is their purpose? Could be time to revisit why the PA even exists.

  5. He made a choce to opt out last year and was given a nice salary i. The real-world for not doing anything as a professional player. He was injured for most of the year prior. My expectation is he’d want to show his value to the team by attending the offseason program. Instead, he made himself expendable.

    Every person with a job, every day, needs to ask himself “how can i add value to my company?” He never thought to do that. That is on him. Shame on the union for encouraging p,ayers to take financial risks without a safety net. That is not protecting them in the slightest.

  6. Pretty sure players can insure themselves in the event of a career ending injury.

  7. The union had better already have E and O insurance or they might not be a union much longer.

  8. “This rule has been known by the general public for years… how is it news to players?!”

    The individual players I can sort of understand. It’s the union not knowing this that is mind-boggling. This is akin to an auto workers union telling guys to ignore all the workman’s comp rules and then when all the claims started getting denied just shrugging their shoulders.

  9. Just stop.

    If Mahomes got injured working out at home to keep in shape, there’s ZERO chance KC would even consider not paying him. Same with any starter in this league.

  10. This has been in every CBA for decades. Every fan knows this. Players are more concerned about not being “forced” to do anything. If they could make showing up on game day optional, they would.

    There’s no reason the players can’t show up at the facility to lift weights other than for the NFLPA to try to generate headlines. The star players don’t have to worry as much as the rank an file. The Broncos had already gotten next to nothing from Ja’Wuan in his 3 years with the team. Whether they paid him or not he wasn’t going to play for them this year and he’d be cut next year.

    Ja’Wuan will have played exactly 3 games for the Broncos in 3 years, if you include 2021 and has already been paid nearly 20 million w another $10 million that was to be paid this year. Ja’Wuan can complain about not getting the money but he can’t with a straight face say he provided the Broncos with any sort of value for that money.

  11. Free will is great until it bites your rear end.As almost every time there is no cure for stupid. Bill

  12. If there’s another player strike once the time comes to bargain, I absolutely promise you this will be a talking point.

  13. akira1971 says:

    May 14, 2021 at 6:48 pm

    Just stop.

    If Mahomes got injured working out at home to keep in shape, there’s ZERO chance KC would even consider not paying him. Same with any starter in this league.
    Yes please stop! You’ve repeated this on every article for weeks and every time you’ve been wrong, although you changed your stance from initially saying how “no team would consider cutting any player for working out away from team because then they’d just come in fat and lazy and unprepared for the season.”

  14. The guy played all of 63 snaps since signing at a FA – and bailed on the team last year … he should be quiet and not bring any more shame or attention to himself than he already has.

  15. Not being snarky, but shouldn’t players be taking insurance out on themselves for the possibility of this situation ever happening? It’s not like this is news.

  16. Ja’Wuan is a grown man who should understand working out at the team facility is in his best interest, regardless of what the NFLPA advises.

  17. Some of us older fans recall that Gene Upshaw was the first union head to sell his players out when they instituted the salary cap and sat back and watched veteran players get pushed out in the street by younger, cheaper, unproven players.
    Remember all those crazy contracts that rookie QB’s used to get before they came to their senses? That was Gene Upshaw’s doing.

  18. Or maybe him or his agents should be smart enough and spend some of his money on Aflac or some other insurance policy. NFL is not responsible if you tear your Achilles playing hoops or the like

  19. Well if I got injured and couldn’t preform my job duties, my company would say C-YA. And I think they would have every right to do so.

  20. What a tough learning experience.
    When young players say they wanted to be treated like grown men and then something like this happens, it brings up all kinds of questions.
    Is the NFLPA treating them like grown men by not taking responsibility for its advice to players? Or owning it CBA agreement?
    What is the most mature approach?

  21. There’s nothing to be done. There’s no kind of insurance policy that could pay out millions of dollars every time a player gets hurt. Their pay makes it impossible.

    No idea why the union thought advising players this way was a good idea. They must have known the odds of something like this happening were high. Just a bad move.

    These chuckleheads get wealthy for playing a game. The NFLPA should encourage them to earn it.

  22. Didn’t the chiefs let go of an offensive lineman for the same thing. I do think his happen during the season but still he got hurt and they let him go. Bottom line it takes a while to recover from this kind of injury. I don’t blame any team for letting anybody go when hurt. This is a what can you do for me now league. When he is fully healed he will be paid again if not before then.

  23. Either the NFLPA makes good on James’ losses, which were incurred as a result of their recommendations, or James should sue the union for damages and the entire union leadership should resign in disgrace.

  24. The owners needed a guy to make an example off and he was perfect. Im not crying for him. He was chronicaly unavailable for them anyway, cant stand these dudes. The NFLPA can choke on it with their anti offseason crusade. Football is a sport that needs practice and teaching.

    Telling rookies and UDFA to skip otas! Get TF out of here how are they supposed to earn their keep..

  25. I usually find myself siding with the players when in a dispute with ownership and their team. But in this case the rules are not just known, but talked about in the media and amongst their fellow colleagues in the sport. If you are willing to risk so much just cause you want to do something differently then be prepared for the consequences and don’t blame others or say someone should’ve covered me for my stupidity. Made bed, now you must sleep in it. It’s uncomfortable? You don’t like it? Well YOU made it, so own the result

  26. Your body is your livelihood. If you put your body at risk outside the team’s supervision, why should they pay you? Your union is also telling you to NOT participate in OTAs, which means you have to work out elsewhere, risking a non-team injury.

    Maybe your union isn’t looking out for you after all.

  27. The “union” is a joke. After every CBA is adopted, obvious issues that the NFLPA neglected to bring to the table pop up. To advise members to stay away from team facilities when their salaries could be lost while doing that is the height of ineptitude.

  28. Telling the players to not work out at facilities without some reassurance if injury happens is awful advice.

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