After a disappointing career in Denver clouded by injuries and a year deferred over COVID concerns, fans were finally ready to see what Ja’Wuan James could do. Then he tore his Achilles tendon during a workout away from team facilities. DaeSean Hamilton, a member of a crowded receiver’s room, was on the cusp of being traded right before he tore his ACL during a workout also being conducted outside the team facility. The Denver Broncos have made it clear that they will be voiding money owed on contracts where players are injured while avoiding the team’s offseason training activities.
The #Broncos released RT Ja'Wuan James today after he was placed on the non-football injury list with the intention to not pay him the $10M+ he was due in salary because he was injured away from the the facility. Expect James’ camp to fight it.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 14, 2021
The NFL players union has been urging players not to attend the voluntary offseason program at the team facilities. Initially the reason seemed to be fears about the lingering COVID 19 virus, but more recently the union has stated safety concerns regarding the physical demands of the offseason program. Especially with the regular season expanding from 16 to 17 games, the union appears to seeking a less strenuous offseason.
As Mike Klis said in his article, the union is has staked out legitimate safety concerns. However, the NFL has countered with the hard reality that if you are injured away from the facility like James and Hamilton were, your salary and medical care might not be as secure. It’s a dangerous game of chicken that only injured players will lose.
Monday is Phase II of the Broncos OTA program and there’s no word yet on who will or will not be in attendance. Conducting workouts individually in lieu of ‘voluntary’ OTAs has already proven costly for a pair of former Broncos players. Players no doubt saw what happened to James and Hamilton, but what they do with that information remains to be seen.
More Bronco veterans expected Monday for NFL offseason program | 9news.com
"It’s a tough time," said starting linebacker Josey Jewell. "Everyone is in limbo still with their decision. It will be interesting who shows up and who doesn’t.’’
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