Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 27 No. 10
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.

NFL, NFLPA Complete '20 CBA That Could Prompt Stars To Opt Out

Dont'a Hightower was among the Patriots' first players to opt out of this season
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Dont'a Hightower was among the Patriots' first players to opt out of this season
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Dont'a Hightower was among the Patriots' first players to opt out of this season
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

The NFL owners and NFLPA "finally completed their revised collective bargaining agreement" for the '20 season, but the CBA has an unintended consequence: The new rules are "all but encouraging star players to opt out," according to Ben Volin of the BOSTON GLOBE. The owners and players "agreed that any guaranteed money that isn't earned this year get rolled into a guarantee in 2021." But if a player has roster security then he is "likely going to lose millions if the NFL has to cancel games." Volin: "If you're a star player with a high salary and roster security, opting out has to be tempting." Volin wonders, "Can you imagine an NFL season with several big names sitting at home?" The star players "have a ton of leverage right now, if they're willing to use it" (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/5). USA TODAY's Jarrett Bell notes NFLPA Medical Dir Dr. Thom Mayer "clearly senses the dilemma some players face." Mayer said, "Education is the key, so they can make a comfortable decision. They can sit down with their families and say, 'What's at risk if I play? What if I opt out?'" He added, "I'll use the term that they use all the time. They're grown-ass men. And grown-ass men make grown-ass decisions." Bell notes while some may choose to sit out due to underlying medical conditions, others are "taking a leave as a measure of reducing the risk of becoming infected and spreading the novel coronavirus to family members" (USA TODAY, 8/5).

NO WIGGLE ROOM:  In N.Y., Jared Schwartz wrote once the NFL’s opt-out deadline passes at 4:00pm ET tomorrow, the options for players "become extremely restrictive." A player must either receive a "new diagnosis that he suffers from one of the 'higher risk' factors or the player has a family member die or become hospitalized due to COVID-19." The player has one week to make a decision if he does get a new diagnosis (N.Y. POST, 8/4).