Under the amended collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and NFL Players Association, agreed to on July 24, players have the choice to opt-out of the 2020 NFL season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
To be designated a voluntary opt-out, a player must be under contract or subject to a tender. The player’s contract will toll and all provisions of that contract for the tolled year will be applied the next season.
The player will be eligible for a stipend of $150,000 to be treated as a salary advance against his tolled contract; an undrafted free agent, however, is not eligible for the stipend.
To be designated a higher-risk opt-out, a player must have a diagnosis reflected in their medical records of at least one of the following factors, which are based upon a modified list of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) risk factors list: cancer; chronic kidney disease; COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease); immunocompromised state from solid organ transplant; serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies; sickle cell disease; type 2 diabetes mellitus; asthma; cerebrovascular disease; cystic fibrosis; hypertension or high blood pressure; immunocompromised state from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines; neurologic conditions, such as dementia; liver disease; or pulmonary fibrosis.
It is not mandatory for a “higher risk” player to opt-out. A higher-risk opt-out will receive an accrued season toward free agency and all benefits and minimum salary credit for a credited season and is also eligible for a stipend of $350,000, which will not constitute a salary advance. per NFL.com
A lot of Impact players like Marquise Goodwin from the Philadelphia Eagles decided to opt-out of the 2020 NFL season. Here are a couple of names.
DT Star Lotulelei, WR Devin Funchess, WR Travis Benjamin, OL Chance Warmack, DT Michael Pierce, DT John Atkins, WR Geronimo Allison, C Russell Bodine, RB Damien Williams, S Patrick Chung, OL Leo Koloamatangi, LB C.J. Mosley, WR Josh Doctson
Kansas City Chiefs guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif from Mon St-Hilaire Quebec has also announced his intention to opt-out of the 2020 season.
In a post shared via Twitter, the 29-year-old offensive lineman, who is the only active NFL player with a medical doctorate from Mcgill University in Montreal, citing his offseason experience working as an orderly at a long-term care facility in his hometown of Montreal as part of ongoing efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason for his decision.
“This is one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make in my life but I must follow my convictions and do what I believe is right for me personally,” he wrote. “That is why I have decided to take the Opt-Out Option negotiated by the League and the NFLPA and officially opt out of the 2020 NFL season.”
“Being at the frontline 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 in our communities simply to play the sport that I love. If I am to take risks, I will do it caring for patients.”
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported Friday that players who voluntarily opt-out of the season will receive a $150,000 salary advance and their contract will toll, as well. He added that all opt-outs are due by July 31, a week removed from the training camp and the agreement.
Duvernay-Tardif, a sixth-round pick by the Chiefs in 2014, concluded the post by thanking the organization for “their support and understanding.” He is the first player to announce that he will be forgoing the upcoming season.
Not many people can say they won a major sports championship, and even fewer can say they also save lives. That’s something that what our Montreal own Laurent Duvernay-Tardif do. The Canadian Super Bowl-winning football player has come back to his native land, the province of Quebec, to work on the medical frontlines.
In a cover story for Sports Illustrated, L-D-T revealed that he had returned to Quebec to apply his medical expertise to the country’s pandemic response.
“I was assigned to a long-term care facility near my hometown on the South Shore, which is about an hour from Montreal,” Duvernay-Tardif revealed.
Even when another member of the staff recognized that he just won the Suber Bowl on T.v., he said all he wanted to do was help.
“When you’re going in to help it’s more about your duty as a doctor and a citizen,” he said, “It’s not the time to be the hero and be impulsive. You’ve gotta do it the right way.”
Duvernay-Tardif has a high profile as a professional athlete, but he has shouted out the massive efforts of all the other medical professionals.
He wrote in an Instagram post “Yes, it’s me in this picture but this is not about me. This is about all the people who have been on the frontlines since day one of this pandemic.”
It’s going to be a big piece missing for 2020 KC Chiefs Edition.
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>My decision regarding the 2020 NFL season <a href=”https://t.co/jrY3nZfNWO”>pic.twitter.com/jrY3nZfNWO</a></p>— Laurent D. Tardif (@LaurentDTardif) <a href=”https://twitter.com/LaurentDTardif/status/1286839610727976965?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>July 25, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>