Broncos RT Ja'Wuan James Opts Out of 2020 Season

Chad Jensen

For the last couple of weeks, a tinfoil hat theory matriculated through the fan base that if the Denver Broncos were going to have any veteran opt-out of the 2020 season due to the coronavirus, it would be right tackle Ja'Wuan James. 

Call it a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts, I guess, but it came true. Per KUSA's Mike Klis, James has opted out. 

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Obviously, this puts the Broncos in a less-than-ideal situation at right tackle. Instead of competing with Garett Bolles for the left tackle job, Elijah Wilkinson — when he returns off the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list — is likely to be the Broncos starter at right tackle. Wilkinson started 12 games at right tackle for the Broncos last year to lackluster results. 

The Broncos have three other viable tackle options on the roster currently in Jake Rodgers, Calvin Anderson, and Quinn Bailey. There's also the undrafted rookie from Central Arkansas Hunter Watts. 

As it stands, I would expect two of those four tackles to make the Broncos 53-man roster. It'll be a bitter fight this summer in training camp and with no preseason snaps with which to evaluate, it'll make the decision difficult for the team. 

It's unclear whether James' opt-out will garner the high-risk designation (I am not currently aware of any condition the player has or his immediate family that would put him in that category) but the lowest figure for opted-out players is $150K but it's an advance on their future salary. High-risk designated opt-outs get a $350K stipend

James can afford to make less this year than an individual game check because he received $17 million from the Broncos, between his signing bonus and guaranteed base salary, when he signed as a prized free agent. James went on to appear in just 63 snaps in Year 1. And he's choosing to forego Year 2, leaving the team that has given him big bucks (and received nothing in return) in the lurch. 

The NFLPA will zealously protect players who opt-out. But I can't imagine James' decision is going to land well with GM John Elway. We'll update this article when more information is known. 

UPDATE: James has released a statement explaining his decision to opt-out and the team has since confirmed. 

Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadNJensen and @MileHighHudde.

THANKS FOR READING MILE HIGH HUDDLE
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Comments (19)
No. 1-16
Legen-w84it-dary
Legen-w84it-dary

That’s not going to help most Broncos fans’ perception of him not wanting to actually play football..

BuckinBronco
BuckinBronco

Ja'Wuan James is a JOKE

Thomas Hall
Thomas Hall

$415,000 per snap in the first two years.

j1830934
j1830934

players are in the right for opt out, you need to do whats best for you and family. as for the future.. they need to move on from him anyway, he was swing and a miss

Brew77
Brew77

Oh who didn’t see this coming it’s time to get to work and start getting ready for the season and Mr Quitter decides its time to stay at home and do nothing. So far this clown has to be Elway’s worst FA signing and that is saying a lot but it’s obvious James just wants the money and doesn’t have a desire to play football. Hopefully we have seen the last of this guy in a Broncos uniform because it’s obvious he has no heart and will find whatever excuse to not be on the field thanks for absolutely nothing so far Juwann James enjoy your free money!

broncofan55555
broncofan55555

This is SOOOOO very frustrating. Do the Broncos get back a portion of his signing bonus? Does his salary which will not be paid now (I would assume) still count toward the cap? This is absurd that a player can make huge bucks and then just opt to sit out the season and still keep his signing bonus. It would have been helpful to know this when there were still some top free agent tackles still available on the market. The Broncos need to dump this guy at the end of this year, and he probably just ended his NFL career. The Dolphins are justified in their laughing at the stupidity of the Bronco FO.

Planefixer
Planefixer

This makes two years in a row James has “opted out “.

Luke  Patterson
Luke Patterson

Man talk about some bad news on a Monday. Ja'Wuan James opting out of 2020 is a huge loss for the Broncos. Not only are there concerns with the LT position but now there's a gaping hole at RT. Expect Elijah Wilkinson to be the starting RT, as he was just activated from the PUP list.

birddogsII
birddogsII

Calvin Anderson, come on down.

Studlee14
Studlee14

I'll said it then and I'll say it now, it was a huge mistake not to draft a single OT. I would much rather have at least a developmental option over say a 9th TE

SpokaneBronco
SpokaneBronco

No surprise here...

Johnlock3
Johnlock3

He should win the award of most pathetic player in the whole league, what a let down

Kebby77
Kebby77

Cant stand that skirt-wearing little b**ch! Dude is a clown!! Cant wait till we move on from him.

Bigdaddy1202
Bigdaddy1202

Juwan James..... NOT A TEAM PLAYER! He will never be a Bronco.... time to move on!!

Linebacker
Linebacker

John Elway and whoever doctor was who examined James before his signing deserve credit for "the worst" signing in Bronco history. That said, I don't recall, and I've followed the Broncos throughout their entire history, anyone player with less character than Juwan James. How someone could literally take millions of dollars for doing almost nothing and then have the audacity to say "...a false narrative was painted of me last year due to comments made about my injury, but I am invested in this city and my team.his commitment is misunderstood." He is invested in one thing, milking the Broncos for every dollar and he can get and giving nothing in return. According to what I've read, he is guaranteed a roster spot in 2021 and another $10 million. If there is anyway of reducing that significantly Elway should exercise it and send James packing.

One final comment, I am mystified by the support talk show hosts on 104.3 the Fan who are supporting James, going so far as to say that drafting Garrett Bowles was a bigger mistake than signing
James. For all of his faults, Garrett shows up every week and plays. I'll take that over a complete no show like James any day and twice on Sunday.

PMcGok
PMcGok

When we signed him last year, I talked to my Miami Dolphin friend at work about him and he laughed and said good luck "he is almost always hurt". Two years later, his point seems pretty accurate. The question is will he be available even next year, because past history says he is hurt or decides he doesn't want to play every odd year.


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