Report: Ja'Wuan James Considering Grievance over Lost Wages After Broncos Release

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVMay 15, 2021

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 27: Denver Broncos offensive tackle Ja'Wuan James #70 in the first half against the  Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana on October 27, 2019. (Photo by Joe Amon/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Joe Amon/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Free-agent offensive tackle Ja'Wuan James is reportedly "strongly considering" filing a grievance against the Denver Broncos following his release Friday.

According to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, James would file the grievance through the NFL Players Association in an effort to recoup lost wages the Broncos may not pay him after he tore his Achilles while working out away from the team facility.

Since the injury did not occur during a team event, the Broncos were able to designate it as a non-football injury, meaning they are not obligated to pay James the $10 million in salary he would have been owed if he'd suffered the injury in practice or a game.

After placing James on the NFI list, the Broncos designated him as a post-June 1 cut on Friday.

Per ESPN, the NFL's management council sent a memo to team executives and head coaches after James' injury, which included the following passage: "Clubs are encouraged to remind players of the significant injury-related protection provided if they choose to work out at the club facility and the risks they undertake in choosing to train at a non-NFL location.''

In response, the NFLPA sent an email to players that read: "It was gutless to use a player's serious injury as a scare tactic to get you to come running back to these workouts.''

Multiple teams have been informed by their players that they will not attend in-person voluntary workouts this offseason amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 28-year-old James signed a four-year, $51 million contract with the Broncos in 2019 after spending the first five years of his NFL career with the Miami Dolphins.

After starting 62 games with the Dolphins, James was limited to just three games with the Broncos in 2019 because of a knee injury. He then opted out of the 2020 season during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With James now set to miss the entire 2021 season, it will be four years since he last played a full NFL slate should he return to play in 2022.

Following the release of James, the Broncos are likely to start Garett Bolles and Bobby Massie at the offensive tackle spots next season.