Players opting out of 2020 NFL season because of coronavirus concerns


Which players will opt out of the 2020 NFL season because of concerns over the coronavirus pandemic? Now that the NFL and NFL Players Association have agreed on a plan to start training camps, we’ve seen Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif announce his intention to sit out the season. There won’t be any preseason games this year, but the regular season begins Sept. 10 with the Houston Texans traveling to Kansas City.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, players will have seven days from the time the agreement is officially signed, likely Monday, to decide whether to opt out for the season. Players considered high risk to COVID-19 can earn $350,000 and an accrued NFL season if they choose to opt out of the season. Players without risk can earn $150,000 for opting out.

Here are the players opting out of the 2020 season:

July 27

The 26-year-old Vitale, who was the team’s most experienced candidate to replace retired fullback James Develin, had signed a one-year, $1.3 million deal with the Patriots in May as a free agent. The contract included $100,000 in guaranteed money. Vitale and his wife Caley welcomed a baby daughter on April 16. When Vitale spoke with Patriots reporters in May, he said, “Obviously with everything going on here, and the state of the country, the little silver lining there is I get to spend a lot of time with both of them.” Vitale, who has played in 44 career games, wasn’t a lock to make the Patriots’ final roster as he was vying for a spot against second-year player Jakob Johnson (who suited up in 4 games for New England in 2019) and undrafted rookie free agent Jake Burt.

It is believed that this was Thomas’ personal choice not to play and there were no preexisting medical conditions that factored into the decision. After being Baltimore’s primary returner last season, Thomas, 27, re-signed with the Ravens on March 14 on a one-year, $935,000 (only $25,000 guaranteed) contract but was considered on the bubble entering training camp. He will receive a $150,000 salary advance and was placed on Baltimore’s reserve list, which means he’ll remain under contract with the Ravens in 2021.

July 24

Duvernay-Tardif, 29, was the first NFL player to publicly say he won’t suit up this season. Duvernay-Tardif has been the Chiefs’ starting right guard for the past five seasons and played every offensive snap in their Super Bowl LIV win over the San Francisco 49ers. He is a medical school graduate from McGill University in Canada and had been assisting as an orderly in a long-term care facility in the Montreal area during the coronavirus pandemic. “I cannot allow myself to potentially transmit the virus in our communities simply to play the sport that I love,” he wrote on social media. “If I am to take risks, I will do it caring for patients.”

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