NFL players have concerns as the coronavirus continue to grow. Several players have decided to opt-out of the 2020 season. The NFL will allow players to opt-out until Tuesday, August 3rd, without violating their contracts.
The NFL and the Players Association have decided on the opt-out agreement. It will allow any player to sit out this year if they feel uncomfortable playing amid the pandemic. If a player wished to opt-out, he must provide his club with written notification within the due date.
The league said that the NFL players who are at high risk of being affected by the coronavirus could earn a $350,000 stipend for opting out. Meanwhile, those who are at low risk but choose to sit out can make $150,000. They have also established a fund to pay back any benefits eliminated by the coronavirus up to 2023 and pay back any lost guaranteed money to players.
To be designated a high-risk opt-out, the NFL players must have a diagnosis written in their medical records of at least one factor on the list of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) risk factors.
CDC list: cancer; chronic kidney disease; COPD; severe heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease; sickle cell disease; asthma; hypertension; HIV; liver disease, etc.
NFL Players to Opt-Out of 2020 Season
Marquise Goodwin (Philadelphia Eagles)
Marquise Goodwin issued a video explaining his decision to sit out of the 2020 season. He said that he is not going to leave his family in uncertain times, and it is not worth the risk of playing football. He also reminisced the time he decided to leave his family and went horribly wrong.
“Three years ago, I made a decision that affected my whole life,” he said. “I chose to leave my wife at the hospital, after prematurely birthing out first baby, which resulted in a fatality to play in a football game.”
Goodwin and his wife have a 5-month-old daughter, and Goodwin is reluctant to leave his family. They suffered three miscarriages before having their first child and firmly believes opting out of the season is the right choice.
Nate Solder (New York Giants)
Nate Solder is another of the NFL players to opt out for 2020. He announces Wednesday via social media that he has decided to opt-out of the upcoming NFL season over family health concerns. He is a survivor of testicular cancer, which he was diagnosed with in 2014, and his son battled cancerous kidney tumors since he was three months old. The Giants’ left tackle fits the high-risk category, qualifying him for the $350,000 stipend for opting out of the 2020 season.
Devin Funchess (Green Bay Packers)
The Packers receiver Devin Funchess also decided to opt-out of the 2020 season. He mentioned that his family member experienced the life-threatening impact of the COVID-19 first hand and thought it was best to rest this year.
Michael Pierce (Minnesota Vikings)
With a history of pneumonia and asthma, Michael Pierce figured it was best to sit out the upcoming season as the coronavirus rages on. Pierce experienced pneumonia while playing for the Ravens, and it affected his respiratory system. The unfortunate events led him to opt-out for him and his family members. He will receive a $350,00 stipend as the history of asthma made him a high-risk case.
Damien Williams (Kansas City Chiefs)
The Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs have announced that 28 year-old Damien Williams has made the decision to opt out this season due to the corona virus. The star running back caught the go ahead touchdown in Super Bowl LIV which is part of his 104 yards on 17 attempts in the game. It appears that LSU RB Edwards Helaire will be taking Williams spot on the field.
The Chiefs press release had this to say:
“As an organization, we certainly understand and respect Damien’s choice, knowing it was made in the best interest of his family. He means a lot to our football team as a player and a person, and we’re going to miss having him around this season.”