I will once again begin this post with a forewarning. Please, though this article has do to with COVID-19 no discussion or referrals to anything even remotely political as it has zero to do with the question I am asking nor does it abide by the sites rules. Thank you in advance!
Okay, now that we have that out of the way we can get on with the business of the day. As many of you know by now the NFL and the NFLPA have come to an agreement on this upcoming season. I had previously asked the question as to how the agreement to have no pre-season games would affect such a young team like your Miami Dolphins. This one pivots to another part of the agreement between the two sides.
In the agreement between the NFL and the NFLPA the players may choose to voluntarily opt-out of the 2020 NFL season due to COVID-19. Any player under contract (or subject to a tender) wishing to opt out has up until this coming Friday, August 7th to declare. They must do so in writing that is delivered to their individual franchise. The contract will toll, meaning that this years provisions to the contract will be moved to the 2021 season and every year following that will be moved up a year. Those that do so voluntarily though do not receive and accrued season for all or any of the multiple other designations in the players agreement with the league. These players will receive an advance of $150,000 that is treated as a salary advance against their 2021 salary. Un-drafted free agents who signed this year are not eligible for the stipend.
The second designation for the opt-out is for players who are designated high risk. To be designated high risk they must have a diagnosis of such in their medical records based on the list provided by the CDC. For example, I happen to be a severe asthmatic so I could take this version of the opt-out if I were in the NFL. It is not mandatory for any of these players to opt out just because they are deemed high risk. One of the two big differences between the two opt out options is that the high risk players do receive an accrued season towards free agency and all of the other benefits tied to accrued seasons. The second big difference is that the player will receive a $350,000 stipend that will not be considered an advance against their salary for the 2021 season.
The opt outs thus for for the NFL are as follows-
- Baltimore Ravens: KR De’Anthony Thomas, OL Andre Smith
- Buffalo Bills: DT Star Lotulelei, CB E.J. Gaines
- Carolina Panthers: LB Jordan Mack
- Chicago Bears: DT Eddie Goldman
- Cincinnati Bengals: DT Josh Tupou, OT Isaiah Prince
- Cleveland Browns: G Drew Forbes, T Drake Dorbeck
- Dallas Cowboys: CB Maurice Canady, WR Stephen Guidry
- Denver Broncos: DT Kyle Peko
- Detroit Lions: DT John Atkins
- Green Bay Packers: WR Devin Funchess
- Houston Texans: DT Eddie Vanderdoes
- Jacksonville Jaguars: EDGE Lerentee McCray, DT Al Woods
- Kansas City Chiefs: OL Laurent Duvernay-Tardif
- Los Angeles Rams: OT Chandler Brewer (high risk)
- Minnesota Vikings: DT Michael Pierce (high risk)
- New England Patriots: LB Dont’a Hightower, FB Dan Vitale, RB Brandon Bolden, OL Najee Toran, WR Marqise Lee, OL Marcus Cannon (high risk)
- Philadelphia Eagles: WR Marquise Goodwin
- Seattle Seahawks: OL Chance Warmack
- Tennessee Titans: OL Anthony McKinney (high risk)
- Washington Football Team: DE Caleb Brantley (high risk)
This is unlikely to be the full list as new opt-outs are reported daily. Hell it may not be a full list by the time this posts. The notable thing for us is despite a couple of our own players coming down with COVID none have opted out. Also there are 12 other teams that have no opt-outs. This does not mean it will not happen and many of these opt-outs do not seem to affect the team much if at all while others may be huge. For example Detroit Lions staring quarterback Matthew Stafford is on the COVID positive list for his team. He has not stated in any way that he will opt out but if he were to this would obviously have a huge affect on his team.
So my Phinsider Question Of The Day is how do you see these opt-outs and yet unknown possible opt-outs affect the 2020 season? When I ask how will it affect it does it possibly change the power structure of the NFL for the 2020 season or will this just be like when teams suffer injuries and have to go out and trade for players or sign guys off the street?
Give us your thoughts below!