Vikings Michael Pierce Among Players Opting Out Of 2020 Season
Following an amendment to the collective bargaining agreement from the NFL and the NFL Players Association, players have the choice to opt out of the upcoming 2020 season due to COVID-19.
There are a couple categories of opt-outs. Those categories include voluntary opt-outs, higher-risk opt-outs, and unspecified opt-outs. Voluntary opt-outs are an option for any player that is under contract or subject to a tender. According to NFL.com, the player's contract will toll and all provisions will apply to the next season and players will be eligible for a stipend considered an advance on the player's tolled contract, among other details.
Higher-risk opt-outs are for players with a "diagnosis reflected in their medical records" of at least one of a modified list of CDC-identified risk factors. NFL.com reports that "higher risk" players are not required to opt-out. Among details for higher-risk opt-outs, they are eligible for a larger stipend that is not considered as a salary advance along with other benefits.
As of the time of publication, no Packers players have opted out, and newly-acquired Vikings defensive tackle Michael Pierce is the only Minnesota player on the list so far. Elsewhere in the division, the Chicago Bears have one player opting out. The team with the biggest impact so far is the Patriots, who have six players on the list. Among them are a few key pieces of the New England defense.
Here is the full list from NFL.com:
- Baltimore Ravens: KR De'Anthony Thomas, OL Andre Smith
- Buffalo Bills: DT Star Lotulelei
- Dallas Cowboys: CB Maurice Canady, WR Stephen Guidry
- Denver Broncos: DT Kyle Peko
- Houston Texans: DT Eddie Vanderdoes
- Kansas City Chiefs: OL Laurent Duvernay-Tardif
- New England Patriots: LB Dont'a Hightower, FB Dan Vitale, RB Brandon Bolden, OL Najee Toran
- New Orleans Saints: TE Cole Wick
- Seattle Seahawks: OL Chance Warmack
- Tennessee Titans: OL Anthony McKinney
- Minnesota Vikings: DT Michael Pierce
- New England Patriots: OL Marcus Cannon
- Washington Football Team: DE Caleb Brantley
- Chicago Bears: DT Eddie Goldman
- New England Patriots: S Patrick Chung
- Philadelphia Eagles: WR Marquise Goodwin