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Denver Broncos right tackle Ja'Wuan James will reportedly have to miss another season after sustaining an injury, and his salary could be in jeopardy due to where he sustained it.
The former first-rounder tore his Achilles on Tuesday while working out away from the team facility, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Because James was off-site, the Broncos reportedly no longer have to pay him his $10 million salary for 2021.
The injury occurred as Broncos players were boycotting voluntary workouts at the team facility due to a lack of COVID-19 safety protocols.
James signed a four-year, $51 million contract with the Broncos in 2019 that temporarily made him the highest-paid right tackle in the NFL. He had previously been the starting right tackle for the Miami Dolphins, who drafted him 19th overall in the 2014 NFL draft.
For multiple reasons, the Broncos deal hasn't gone as planned.
The trouble started when James sustained a knee injury in Week 1 of his first season with the team. He would end up making only three starts all season, which remain his only appearances in a Broncos uniform. James then opted out of the 2020 season, citing concerns about his and his family's safety in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Because he opted out, James only received a $150,000 stipend for 2020 rather than his scheduled $10 million salary. Now, it's entirely possible he receives even less than that for 2021.
The idea of a player losing his entire salary for working out in the wrong place was bizarre enough to draw the attention of a division rival, as Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was incredulous the Broncos could do such a thing.
We'll see if the Broncos actually follow through.
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