Broncos right tackle Ja’Wuan James suffered a season-ending torn Achilles tendon while working out away from the team’s facility Tuesday, which has put him in jeopardy of not getting paid this season, ESPN reported.
With the injury occurring away from Denver’s facility, it could be deemed a “non-football injury.” That means the Broncos would not be obligated to pay the 28-year-old his $9.85 million base salary. The organization has not said if it will still pay James, who was expected to be their starting right tackle this season.
Chiefs star quarterback Patrick Mahomes chimed in on the matter, writing on Twitter, “So they are going to take his contract for working out in the off-season???”
Broncos general manager George Paton said before that draft that James had been working out hard and had been at the team facilities recently.
“He’s been here, and he’s been working out,” Paton said “He looks great and the expectation is he starts at right tackle and he plays well.”
James had played 63 total snaps for the Broncos since signing a four-year, $51 million deal in March of 2019. Late in that season, James suffered a torn meniscus, as well as a torn MCL in separate games. The Tennessee product opted out of the 2020 season due to health concerns with the coronavirus pandemic.
Through five seasons with the Dolphins, James never started more than eight games in consecutive seasons as he battled a variety of injuries – including several knee issues.