New England Patriots safety Patrick Chung exits stadium
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

New England Patriots safety Patrick Chung will opt-out of the 2020 NFL season, becoming the sixth Patriots player to announce he won’t play this year.

Chung, a three-time Super Bowl champion and member of New England’s 2010s All-Decade Team, announced that he will exercise his voluntary opt-out clause for the upcoming NFL season.

Patriots’ S Patrick Chung will opt-out of 2020 NFL season

Chung, a second-round pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, was set to enter his age-32 season. Unfortunately for the Patriots, he becomes the sixth player to opt-out this year within the past 24 hours.

The Patriots boasted one of the NFL’s best defenses in 2019, often carrying it to victories and leading to another playoff birth. However, there has been significant turnover this season, even beyond Tom Brady’s departure.

New England already lost starting linebackers Kyle Van Noy and Jamie Collins to free agency along with defensive tackle Danny Shelton. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it will also be without star linebacker Dont’a Hightower and offensive tackle Marcus Cannon.

The losses don’t end there. The Patriots will also be without running back Brandon Bolden, guard Najee Toran and fullback Danny Vitale after they exercised their opt-out clauses for the upcoming season.

New England’s star duo in the secondary could also be in jeopardy. All-Pro safety Devin McCourty and cornerback Jason McCourty have expressed significant concern about playing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.