Ja'Wuan James

Ja’Wuan James opts out of the 2020 season

  • 2020 NFL Season
  • Denver Broncos
  • Elijah Wilkinson
  • Graham Glasgow
  • Ja'Wuan James
  • Lloyd Cushenberry III
  • Netane Muti
  • NFL
  • NFL Offseason
  • Offensive Line
  • Offensive Tackle
  • Opt-Out
By Andy Martinez August 4, 2020 0 Comment

Starting Right Tackle Ju’Wuan James had opted out of upcoming season, leaving Broncos with a major void

Denver Broncos starting Tackle Ja’Wuan James has decided to opt out of the 2020 season. Although the team was notified weeks prior, he announced his decision through Twitter with the following statement: “It is tough, but it’s the right decision. There is just too much unknown about the virus & plans about it going forward.”

In reference to the frustrated fan base in Denver, he added: “I know you don’t know me well & 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”

It’s worth noting James and his wife welcomed their newborn son back in May. Evidently, he made his decision like a new father. Much like the other 45 players opting out around the league, James has decided to focus on the safety of his family.

NOT LIVING UP TO THE HYPE

Since signing with the Broncos last offseason, Ja’Wuan James has received his fair share of criticism. The Broncos broke the bank when signing James to a 4-Year, $52 million dollar deal. The signing made him the highest paid tackle in the NFL.

It was believed that James would make an immediate impact on the Broncos’ depleted offensive line. Unfortunately, that was not the case.

In the season opener against the then Oakland Raiders, James suffered a torn MCL. Later in the season, he’d push to return into the starting lineup, only to go out on a torn meniscus in Week 8.

NEXT MAN UP

While this was no doubt the best decision for James and his family, it was a drastic one from the team’s standpoint. For seasons, the Broncos had been patching up the offensive line in hopes of finally building a respectable unit. New offseason additions Graham Glasgow, and Lloyd Cushenberry III looked like the missing pieces to the puzzle. But with James opting out, who will fill the void?

Following James’ decision, the Broncos activated both Elijah Wilkinson and rookie Netane Muti from the Physically Unable to Perform list and Non-Football Injury list, respectively.

Currently, Elijah Wilkinson seems to be the front runner for the position. After filling in for James most of last season, he got a great deal of experience at the position.

There is still plenty of time to sign a veteran free agent off the market. However, it seems more likely the Broncos will rely on Mike Munchak to coach up Wilkinson for his second go at the tackle position. Regardless, it appears as if the position may continue to be a liability for the offense for the second consecutive season.

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