Right tackle Ja’Wuan James became the second member of the Broncos to opt out of playing the 2020 season.
James confirmed reports of his decision by releasing a statement via his Twitter account on Monday. James noted that he has a newborn at home and has seen a family member hospitalized due to COVID-19 already this year.
“After continuous conversation with my family over the past couple weeks about the NFL figuring out the plan for the 2020 season, I’ve decided to opt out,” James said in a statement. “It is tough, but the right decision. There’s just too much unknown about this virus and about plans handling it going forward. My wife and I were blessed with our newborn son May 22 and he’s now my top priority. Although I worked all offseason and invest in my body to bounce back & have a great year on the field, it’s just not worth risking the health of my loved ones. I’ve seen this virus already hospitalize one of my family members and hope to not have that happen again. We can’t live in fear or just confine ourselves just to our homes but we all have to make the right conscious choices and navigate through day to day life to protect our neighbors.”
James was heading into the second year of a four-year, $51 million deal in Denver. He missed all but 63 snaps of last season with knee problems and his base salary of $10 million will toll to next year. Elijah Wilkinson is the likely choice to replace him in the starting lineup.
Defensive tackle Kyle Peko was the first member of the Broncos to opt out this year.