Due to the COVID pandemic, the 2880 players in the NFL were offered an “opt-out” of this year’s season if they or a family member were at high risk of suffering severe complications due to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
If they were considering an opt-out, they needed to commit by the August 6th deadline, and 67 players chose to do so.
According to Theathletic.com, these include:
- Arizona Cardinals: OL Marcus Gilbert
- Baltimore Ravens: OT Andre Smith, KR De’Anthony Thomas
- Buffalo Bills: DT Star Lotulelei, CB E.J. Gaines
- Carolina Panthers: LB Jordan Mack, LB Christian Miller
- Chicago Bears: DT Eddie Goldman, S Jordan Lucas
- Cincinnati Bengals: OT Isaiah Prince, DT Josh Tupou
- Cleveland Browns: G Drew Forbes, OT Drake Dorbeck, DT Andrew Billings, G Colby Gossett, G Malcolm Pridgen
- Dallas Cowboys: CB Maurice Canady, WR Stephen Guidry, FB Jamize Olawale
- Denver Broncos: DL Kyle Peko, RT Ja’Wuan James
- Detroit Lions: DT John Atkins, WR Geronimo Allison, C Russell Bodine
- Green Bay Packers: WR Devin Funchess
- Houston Texans: DL Eddie Vanderdoes
- Indianapolis Colts: LB Skai Moore, CB Marvell Tell, DB Rolan Milligan
- Jacksonville Jaguars: DT Al Woods, DE Lerentee McCray, CB Rashaan Melvin
- Kansas City Chiefs: RB Damien Williams, OL Lucas Niang, OG Laurent Duvernay-Tardif,
- Las Vegas Raiders: CB D.J. Killings, DE Jeremiah Valoaga, LB Ukeme Eligwe
- Los Angeles Rams: OT Chandler Brewer
- Miami Dolphins: WR Allen Hurns, WR Albert Wilson
- Minnesota Vikings: DT Michael Pierce
- New England Patriots: RB Brandon Bolden, S Patrick Chung, OT Marcus Cannon*, LB Dont’a Hightower, C/G Najee Toran, FB Danny Vitale, WR Marqise Lee, TE Matt LaCosse
- New Orleans Saints: TE Cole Wick, TE Jason Vander Laan
- New York Giants: WR Da’Mari Scott, CB Sam Beal, OT Nate Solder, who is a cancer survivor and whose son is currently battling cancer
- New York Jets: LB C.J. Mosley, OL Leo Koloamatangi, WR Josh Doctson
- Philadelphia Eagles: WR Marquise Goodwin
- San Francisco 49ers: WR Travis Benjamin, OT Shon Coleman, G/C Jake Brendel
- Seattle Seahawks: OL Chance Warmack
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: T Brad Seaton
- Tennessee Titans: OT Anthony McKinney
- Washington Football Team: DL Caleb Brantley, LB Josh Harvey-Clemons
The Chargers, Falcons, and Steelers reported no player withdrawals.
There were 2 types of “opt-out”; those who had a medical necessity (high risk), and those who were not at high risk and chose voluntarily to opt out.
Those in the high risk category were offered a $350,000 stipend. Those in the low risk category received $150,000, counted as a salary advance.
If a player, who didn’t opt out, becomes exposed or needs to leave mid-season, they too will receive a $150,000 stipend minus any salary they had received thus far.
Chief’s Damian Williams chose the opt out as his mother has “Stage 4 Cancer”.
As it appears, according to the above list no quarterbacks have chosen to opt out, nor kickers or punters.
This year the NFL kicks off September 10th.