The New York Jets have fined offensive guard Kelechi Osemele for “conduct detrimental to the team” after he no-showed practice while dealing with a shoulder injury.
While the New York Jets are preparing for a crucial divisional matchup this week on Monday Night Football against the New England Patriots, they remain a little sidetracked by some off-field drama regarding offensive guard Kelechi Osemele.
The Jets have reportedly fined Osemele for “conduct detrimental to the team” after he refused to show up to practice on Saturday. This comes on the heels of an odd conflict between the two sides that doesn’t look to be reaching its resolution any time soon.
Osemele has been dealing with a shoulder injury that has kept him out of each of the Jets’ last two games. This past Tuesday, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Osemele was set to undergo surgery to repair his injured shoulder.
But in the coming days, we’ve received more information that indicates a split in opinion from the two sides.
Osemele wants to have the surgery on his shoulder — which would effectively end his season — and has reportedly been told by multiple doctors that he does, in fact, need surgery. However, the Jets seem to have a differing opinion.
The Jets feel that Osemele could wait to have the surgery until the offseason and are insisting that they too have had two doctors clear Osemele to play.
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The entire situation is bizarre and it seems that we’ve only reached the beginning. And the hold-up — as it always is — appears to be financial.
If Osemele ends up on the injured reserve, the Jets will be required to pay the remaining $5.79 million of his contract, per The Athletic’s Connor Hughes. However, the Jets have decided to fine the 30-year-old veteran which could indicate that they plan to release him.
However, Osemele would be entitled to “termination pay” under the current CBA since his release occurred after Week 1. That’s where the fine comes in.
Osemele is not entitled to that pay if the Jets fine him which is exactly what they’ve reportedly done. Now, Osemele could still file a grievance but 40% of his cap hit would be put on hold until the grievance is heard.
And knowing the NFL, that could take a very long time.
The Jets seem to be more bitter about this situation since the shoulder injury is one that Osemele sustained during his time with the Oakland Raiders.
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And it appears as though he was aware of the injury prior to joining the team meaning the Jets likely would have wanted him to have the surgery in the offseason.
In his place, the Jets have been starting Alex Lewis who has done an excellent job filling in as the starting left guard. And even if Osemele were to somehow play another snap this season, it’s unlikely Lewis would lose his starting role.
The whole situation is peculiar and this likely isn’t the last we’ve heard of it. Expect this ordeal to be carried out for a number of weeks while the two sides continue to quarrel.