Mike Klis is reporting that Broncos right tackle Ja’Wuan James is the latest big name player to opt out of the 2020 season.
JaWuan James has opted out per source. Broncos lose RT for year. #9sports— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) August 3, 2020
James is making the safe play by opting out on the year. His contract had $10 million fully guaranteed for 2020 and $5 million in injury protection in 2021 and a portion of that full guarantee could have been at risk if the season was cut short this year and his guarantee ran concurrently with the $5M in protection for 2021.
By opting out James contract will now toll, leaving the team with a $12.85 million cap charge next year (assuming that the opt out is voluntary) and maintaining a $9.85 million guaranteed salary for next year, more or less ensuring his place on the roster. His 2022 cap charge will now be $14 million ($5 million of which is protected for injury) and he will now be under contract to Denver through 2023. His cap charge in 2023, if he is still on the team, will be $16 million.
James signed a four year, $51 million contract with the Broncos in 2019, but only appeared in 3 games last season. The team will gain $13 million in cap room for this season which they can spend on free agents this year or simply carry over to 2021. The Broncos, once the move is processed, should have around $33 million in cap room.
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Jason is the founder of OTC and has been studying NFL contracts and the salary cap for over 15 years. Jason has co-authored two books about the NFL, Crunching Numbers and the Drafting Stage, which are widely circulated in the industry and hosts the OTC Podcast. Jason’s work has been featured in various publications including the Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, NFL Network and more. OTC is widely considered the leading authority on contract matters in the NFL.