The NFL and the NFL Players Association on July 24 reached an agreement on opt-out rules for players who don’t want to participate in the 2020 season amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
And only a few hours passed after the agreement was reached before the first NFL player announced he would opt out of the 2020 season.
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That the first NFL player to opt out of his 2020 contract doubles as a medical doctor is probably telling. Said Chiefs guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif in his announcement: “Being at the front line during this offseason has given me a different perspective on this pandemic and the stress it puts on individuals and our healthcare system. I cannot allow myself to potentially transmit the virus to our communities simply to play the sport I love. If I am to take risks, I will do it caring for patients.”
The NFL season opt-out rules are simple. Anybody is free to decide not to play in 2020, and per multiple reports, the contracts for all players who opt out will toll to 2021.
NFL players who opt out for 2020 also will receive salary advances. Those who opt out for medical reasons because they are at high risk regarding COVID-19 will receive $350,000 for the season, and those who opt out voluntarily will receive $150,000 for the season. (Undrafted rookies who opt out voluntarily are not eligible to earn the $150,000 stipend.)
So Duvernay-Tardif, for example, will get the $150,000 salary advance since he opted out voluntarily, and his 2020 contract will toll to 2021. He was scheduled to earn $2.75 million this season, so he’ll earn that (minus the $150,000) next year.
MORE: Complete NFL training camp schedule for 2020
July 28 marked the latest training camp reporting date for all veteran players, and camps this year will feature a longer-than-normal acclimation period before fully padded practices begin Aug. 17. The 2020 NFL preseason was canceled, but the regular season is still scheduled to begin Thursday, Sept. 10 when the Chiefs host the Texans.
NFL players reportedly have until Monday, Aug. 3 to decide whether to opt out of the 2020 season and earn the stipends/contract tolling. Below is the complete, team-by-team list of players who have decided to do just that.
NFL players opting out of 2020 season
(The following list is compiled from various media reports.)