By Michael Stewart/@golferbad
Introduction: The 2020 NFL season hasn’t begun and already a total of over 60 players have decided to opt of the 2020 season due to COVID-19. The CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) between the NFL and the NFLPA has announced that players who are considered “high risk” and opt out will receive $350,000; while players who not deemed “high risk” will receive $150,000 for opting out.
According to NFL.com
“If a player wishers to opt out, he must provide his club with written notification by August 6th by 4pm ET. 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 applicable the following season: however; he will not receive an accrued season. The player will 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 desease; COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease); immunocompromised state from solid organ transplant; serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery desease or cardiomyopanthies; sickle cell disease; type diabetes mellitus; asthma;cerbrovascular 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”.
Final Thoughts: The Giants and the rest of the teams in the NFL could have additional players opting-out before the deadline today at 4pm and no one would blame them if they did as personal well being and protecting your family from this horrible pandemic should be priority one for everyone. I’m not sure how many more players will decide to opt-out by the deadline, but I do know that the current count of slightly over 60 players will not be the final total. Football is an important fixture in America culture; however; by the end of the day, the NFL might be forced to make a tough decision, one that could either shorten the season or perhaps cancel the 2020 season. The owners and the players, along with the NFL understand that the safety of all the players and their families come first and if cancelling the season means preventing this pandemic from getting out of hand, then so be it.