fbpx

Ja’Wuan James files $15 million grievance against Denver Broncos

Jun 4, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos offensive tackle Ja’Wuan James (70) looks on during mini camp drills at the Pat Bowlen Fieldhouse at UCHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Former Denver Broncos right tackle Ja’Wuan James has filed a grievance against the team seeking to recoup his 2021 pay, according to Profootballtalk.com.

James, 29, sustained a season-ending torn Achilles injury while working away from team facilities in early May.

The Broncos released James in May with a non-football injury designation, clearing the way for the team to void his salary for 2021.

James was set to earn $10 million in base salary in 2021. But shortly after the injury, the NFL cited James in a memo informing teams that injuries incurred in such conditions could be given the non-football injury (NFI) designation, letting teams off the hook from paying the player for missed time.

The NFL Players Association viewed that stance as a mechanism to force players to join teams’ involuntary workouts.

In an email to players, the union wrote of the league’s stance on James: “It was gutless to use a player’s serious injury as a scare tactic to get you to come running back to these workouts.

Related: NFL defense rankings – Outlook for 2021 season

“This memo is another sign of what they think of you and also affirms that they simply want to control you year-round in any and every way that they can.”

According to the report, James contends he was working out with teammates in a manner “specifically authorized” by the team. The grievance also claims it believes the Broncos’ facilities were not compliant with Colorado’s COVID-19 guidelines.

He is reportedly seeking the $10 million he had guaranteed on his contract for 2021 and $5 million that was guaranteed for 2022.

The Broncos and the NFL reportedly declined to comment on the grievance, which will be heard by a panel of arbitrators.

James opted out of the 2020 season. He played in only three games since the Broncos signed him to a four-year, $51 million contract before the 2019 season. He dealt with a knee injury that season and played only 63 snaps for the Broncos.

James was the Miami Dolphins’ first-round draft pick out of Tennessee in 2014. Injuries cost him 18 games during his five seasons with the Dolphins before he became a free agent after the 2018 season.

–Field Level Media