As NFL players begin reporting for training camp, a wave of their peers have already opted out of the 2020 season. Nearly two dozen players have already chosen to sit out this year and even more could announce their decision in the coming days.
The NFL and NFL Players Association are still finalizing a plan for the 2020 season amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Once the formal document is signed, the clock will be ticking for players to determine if they will take the field this season.
NFL opt-out deadline won’t be until at least August 4
When the COVID-19 pandemic worsened at the start of the summer, players made securing an opt-out clause a priority during negotiations with the league. With the specifics being finalized, many around the NFL have even more time to decide if they will play football this year.
As detailed by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the NFL and NFLPA are working to iron out small details in the opt-out clause for this season. If a formal agreement is reached today, the opt-out deadline would be Aug. 4, but it will be extended for each day that negotiations drag on.
Currently, any player who voluntarily sits out receives a $150,000 stipend that would be paid back next year and their contract carries over into 2021. If a player is deemed high-risk for COVID-19, they get paid a $350,000 stipend and receive a year of service.
What NFL players are opting out?
Kansas City Chiefs guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif became the first NFL player to opt-out of the 2020 season, announcing his decision over the weekend. Since that time, a flurry of players have followed in choosing not to play football this year.
As of Wednesday morning, 26 NFL players have decided to exercise their opt-out clause for the 2020 NFL season.
- New England Patriots: Patrick Chung, Dont’a Hightower, Marcus Cannon, Brandon Bolden, Danny Vitale, Najee Toran
- Baltimore Ravens: Andre Smith, De’Anthony Thomas
- Dallas Cowboys: Maurice Canady, Stephen Guidry
- New Orleans Saints: Cole Wick, Jason Vander Laan
- Kansas City Chiefs: Laurent Duvernay-Tardif
- Buffalo Bills: Star Lotulelei
- Carolina Panthers: Jordan Mack
- Chicago Bears: Eddie Goldman
- Denver Broncos: Kyle Peko
- Green Bay Packers: Devin Funchess
- Houston Texans: Eddie Vanderdoes
- Minnesota Vikings: Michael Pierce
- New York Jets: Leo Koloamatangi
- Philadelphia Eagles: Marquise Goodwin
- Seattle Seahawks: Chance Warmack
- Tennessee Titans: Anthony McKinney
- Washington Football Team: Caleb Brantley
- Free Agent: Larry Warford