The NFL is working overtime to get their testing regimen down to make the 2020 season as safe as possible. However, a growing number of NFL players have decided that the risk is too great.
So far, no team has had more players opt out than the New England Patriots.
As of the time of this writing, linebacker Dont’a Hightower, linebacker Brandon Bolden, tackle Marcus Cannon, fullback Danny Vitale, and guard Najee Toran, have all opted out.
“Hightower, who became a father for the first time this month, was set to make a base salary of $8 million this season,” Pro Football Talk reports. “He will receive a $150,000 stipend and his contract will toll to the 2021 season.”
Former Bengals tackle Andre Smith, who just signed on with the Ravens to provide depth, will also sit out the season. In addition, Cowboys cornerback Maurice Canady, Washington defensive lineman Caleb Brantley, Texans defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes, and Seahawks offensive lineman Chance Warmack, have also opted out.
Major League Baseball, along with the NFL, are the only two major sports attempting to play their seasons without confining players inside a “bubble.” MLB has already had to cancel two games due to COVID outbreaks, less than a week into their season.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn