A torn Achilles has effectively ended Ja'Wuan James' days in Denver.
The Broncos cut James on Friday, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported.
James' release comes after he was placed on the non-football injury list with the intention being not to pay him the $10.58 million he was due in salary because his injury occurred away from the team facility, Rapoport reported. "Expect James' camp to fight it," Rapoport added.
It's a tumultuous end to James' tenure in Denver in which he played only three games after signing a massive four-year, $51 million deal ahead of the 2019 season.
A knee injury limited James to only three contests in 2019, his first with the Broncos after five with the Dolphins, who took him in the 2014 NFL Draft first round. Thereafter, James opted out of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Set to return in 2021, James sustained his injury on May 4 while working out away from the Broncos' club facility.
On May 7, James was placed on the non-football injury list and therefore, by league rule, the Broncos are not contractually obligated to pay him as the injury occurred away from team supervision in a location that isn't an NFL facility.
Prior to James' placement on the NFI list, conversation about James not being paid his salary was sparked to the point the NFL sent out a memo as a reminder that clubs have no contractual obligation if players are injured working out away from the team facility.
James' release comes on the same day in which it was reported Broncos wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton tore his ACL while also working out away from the team facility. Hamilton was reportedly set to be traded prior to being injured.
So, while James has been released by the Broncos, it's likely the matter of his salary -- and possibly Hamilton's -- is yet to be resolved.