What an odd situation taking place in New York. Although, if you’re a Jets fan, it’s just another day that ends with “Y”. After having surgery on his right shoulder, two-time Pro Bowler Kelechi Osemele has been released by the New York Jets.
So how did this situation evolve to this point? Why did the Jets release a player with a guaranteed contract for $9.85 million this season, and $11.35 million next season? According to Osemele, this begins on August 5th. During a training camp session with the team, Osemele began feeling pain in his right shoulder. He continued playing until September 22nd. In a game against the New England Patriots, the shoulder was re-injured causing him to miss games and practices.
Throughout his absence from the Jets, the team has also been fining Osemele the maximum allowed under the Collective Bargaining Agreement ($579,000/week). A grievance with the NFL Players Association has been filed against the team for how they’ve handled his injury.
But the controversy isn’t surrounding the injury itself, it is surrounding the surgery that took place. According to the medical reports from the team doctors and an independent doctor, the Jets have been under the impression his shoulder was a preexisting injury. One he has been playing through for a while. So why the issue? Well, the timing of the surgery is what caused the Jets to release him.
On Wednesday, Osemele posted a picture of a third party doctor’s note to his Instagram, only to later delete it. The note stated that Osemele “should undergo a right shoulder arthroscopy, labral repair, and cyst debridement.” Finally, after four weeks of dispute with the teams management, Osemele decided to have surgery on Friday. He states he was tired of taking painkillers, and wanted to heal so he could play next season.
However, the Jets disagreed with his decision, and today they cut him from the roster. It’s also being reported that the injury was more extensive than originally thought. As a result, Osemele’s agent and the NFLPA are considering taking action against the Jets. According to them, the teams doctors violated the state medical board regulations.
This just screams typical for this franchise. How the Jets are handling this validates why they have been unsuccessful for a few years. Why would they cut an offensive lineman who is still only 30, proven, but injured? He had surgery to try and ensure he can be healthy next season, and because the team didn’t like the timing they cut him? It’s an injury and he’s hurt. Did you know you’re also paying him a lot of money? If he can’t perform at 100%, LET HIM HEAL.
Come on, Jets. You’re better than this.
PHOTO CREDIT: Ryan Kang/AP
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