The Broncos made headlines after they released tackle Ju’Wuan James as he suffered a torn Achilles tendon away from the practice facility. Ju’Wuan James lost his job along with almost $10M in salary. And with the new NFL memo justifying the Broncos decision, NFLPA president JC Tretter spoke up on the matter.
The NFL stated in a memo that teams have “no contractual obligation” to pay players away from team facilities, but James is considering filing a grievance with the Players Association. James also tweeted out the same and call on the NFLPA to back him up.
— Ja’Wuan James (@JawuanJames70) May 14, 2021
JC Tretter says players are watching closely to see whether their teams will back them.
Players Association president and Cleveland Browns centre JC Tretter broke down the situation to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated.
“You’re tasked with working out year-round. And guys have always felt teams have their back when they’re training, working out for the season,” Tretter said. “So players are watching this closely to see which teams aren’t going to have players’ backs. And doing this also disincentivizes guys from working out. If you’re going to hold this over my head, and I don’t want to get hurt, well, then I’ll play myself into shape, and protect myself and money.”
“You really just want to feel like your team would have your back in that situation,” Tretter told Breer. “And then on top of that, you read this memo where it sounds like the league is basically pushing teams to throw injured guys under the bus.”
Don’t bury the lead, NFL. Here’s the money line: A player who suffers injury while working out “on his own” means “clubs have no contractual obligation to provide salary continuation during the year in which the injury was sustained.” For James, wording can’t be harsher. #9sports pic.twitter.com/iZw0AYiQjl
— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) May 5, 2021
It’s critical for every player to assess where he lands in that analysis before deciding whether to continue to assume the full financial risk of an off-site injury. “I think it’s coming down to control,” Tretter told Breer. “You’ll do what we tell you to do, when we tell you to do it, how we tell you to do it. They haven’t really heard players tell them no before.
“And now they have had the vast majority tell them no, and I’m sure it grinds some gears on their side. This is about getting to the status quo for them, even though I think we could all realize there’s a better way.”
In explaining his case for changing the offseason to @AlbertBreer, NFLPA President JC Tretter issues a good reminder about Ju’Wuan James and landing on the NFI list — players train year-round. https://t.co/JY1JP2Z3vH pic.twitter.com/0EIETC9Hcr
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 17, 2021
The Browns star Centre lined his comments with subtle threats suggesting that teams that don’t have their players backs could find it difficult to sign attractive free agents. NFL players have seemingly taken more control of their careers as of late. The NFLPA will hope the league will bring in changes to their memo.