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Patrick Mahomes Questions NFL CBA over Ja'Wuan James' Broncos Contract After Injury

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVMay 5, 2021

AP Photo/Steve Luciano

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes took to Twitter on Tuesday to stand up for an AFC West divisional rival.

According to ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio, the Denver Broncos "privately were pleased" that offensive tackle Ja'Wuan James' season-ending Achilles injury occurred during a personal workout rather than at the team facility since it will allow the Broncos to avoid paying him $9.85 million in guaranteed money this season.

In response to the Broncos potentially not having to pay James, Mahomes tweeted:

Florio noted that the Broncos were also privately pleased that James opted out last season since it prevented them from having to pay the $9.85 million owed last year. Now, they can get out of it again in 2021 since an injury away from the facility means they aren't obligated to pay it.

The Broncos' willingness to forgo paying James his guaranteed money stems from the NFL Players Association pushing for a boycott of voluntary in-person offseason workouts. Per Florio, the NFL reminded teams that any player who gets injured away from team facilities this offseason risks losing their salary.

Given the savings the Broncos stand to get, it seems likely that they will take advantage of the situation presented to them.

The 28-year-old James was originally the No. 19 overall pick by the Miami Dolphins in the 2014 NFL draft. He spent his first five seasons in Miami before signing a four-year contract with the Broncos in 2019.

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James appeared in and started just three games for the Broncos in 2019 because of a knee injury. Overall, he has made 65 regular-season starts during his NFL career.

The Broncos had James penciled in as their potential starting right tackle for the 2021 campaign, but that job will likely go to 2019 second-round pick Dalton Risner now.

Risner spent his first two NFL seasons as the Broncos' starting left guard. However, it was long assumed he would eventually kick out to tackle, and the James injury could give head coach Vic Fangio that option.

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