Broncos Release Ja'Wuan James, Intend to Void His 2021 Salary

The Broncos are moving on from their highly-paid right tackle.
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Several weeks ago, Denver Broncos offensive tackle Ja'Wuan James tore his Achilles tendon during a workout away from Broncos training facilities. He was placed on the non-football injury list and speculation arose as to what the Broncos would do next.

On Friday, the Broncos made their decision: The team released James with the intent to void his $10M fully guaranteed salary for 2021.

The Broncos are designating James as a post-June 1 release. Because he has been on the non-football injury list, his $13M hit for 2021 didn't count toward the cap. Now, the Broncos will be looking at a $3M dead money charge after June 1 with $10M free, with the remainder of the dead money carried over to 2022.

However, as Ian Rapoport noted, it's likely James will have people on his behalf filing a grievance to collect at least some of his $10M salary. Expect that to be a lengthy affair.

James' release comes shortly after he tweeted about the NFLPA asking players to skip voluntary workouts in hopes of renegotiating details about when players need to be present at team facilities. That issue is a topic all its own.

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As things stand with James, he played just 63 snaps with the Broncos in 2019 after signing a four-year deal that made him one of the highest-paid right tackles in the NFL. He then opted out of the 2020 season because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

James did visit Broncos facilities for workouts earlier this year, but at some point, switched to workouts away from the facilities. Why he did that isn't clear, but it's possible he bought into the NFLPA arguments, plus there's the fact that the majority of Broncos players opted to skip initial voluntary workouts.

After James' latest injury, the Broncos signed offensive tackles Bobby Massie, Cameron Fleming and Ryan Pope, with Massie likely to start and Fleming and Pope possibly competing for depth spots.


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