According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Broncos right tackle Ja’Wuan James suffered a season-ending torn Achilles while working out today away from the team. Now, James is in danger of losing his $20 million dollar salary because he was injured away from the team.
Broncos' OT Ja'Wuan James’ contract tolled last year, so he was playing under his 2020 contract this year, which had $10 million guaranteed for skill and injury, and another $10 million in 2021. So it’s a $20 million potential torn Achilles injury today. https://t.co/jj10uOm298— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 4, 2021
This obviously leaves a big hole at right tackle now for the Broncos, but they could use that potential cap savings to acquire a veteran on the free-agent market.
James, who may go down as John Elway’s biggest bust of a free agent signing will now have played only a handful of games with the team that he signed a record-breaking contract with at the time. His 2019 season was riddled with injuries
This injury, while awful for James, could be beneficial for the Broncos. They can potentially get out of paying a bad contract and use that money elsewhere on the roster and/or carry it over to next season (or maybe give to Aaron Rodgers)
Now, the Broncos need to find a replacement for James. On the roster, there isn’t much. Calvin Anderson is now your starting right tackle while some practice squad and UDFA talent are behind him. Some names to keep an eye on are Charles Leno who was just released by the Bears, Dennis Kelly, former Bronco Russell Okung, and two former Chiefs coming off an injury in Mitchell Schwartz and Eric Fisher.
George Paton has some work to do, but thankfully the free agent tackle market isn’t dry and he’ll figure something out.