Broncos tackle Ja'Wuan James tears Achilles, could lose $20 million for 2021, per report

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After not playing in 2020, Denver Broncos right tackle Ja'Wuan James will miss a second straight season. 

James opted out of last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and on Tuesday, he suffered a torn Achilles, according to ESPN

Because the injury took place away from the Broncos' facility, ESPN reported, the team could place him on the non-football injury list. Denver would not be obligated to pay his $9.85 million base salary for 2021 in that case. 


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Players who opted out last season were eligible for between $150,000-$350,000. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that James' contract tolled last season, meaning he was playing under his 2020 contract this year, which had $10 million guaranteed for skill and injury, and another $10 million reserved for 2021.

In total, James could be out close to $20 million. 

The 19th overall pick by the Miami Dolphins in the 2014 draft, James started 16 games in his first and third seasons in the league and 15 games in 2018. Injuries have cost him significant playing time in every other season, however. 

Denver Broncos offensive tackle Ja'Wuan James (70) taking the field during an NFL preseason football game between the Denver Broncos and the San Francisco 49ers in Denver.

Since signing a four-year, $51 million contract with Denver prior to the 2019 season, James has played three games at right tackle for the Broncos. 

Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.

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