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Opt out deadline will be August 4, at the earliest

Patriots LB Dont'a Hightower will opt out of the 2020 season, joining several other teammates in the decision.

At least 25 players have opted out of the 2020 season. All other players have at least another week to make a final decision.

Per multiple sources, the deadline for opting out arrives seven days after the signing for the formal side agreement documenting changes to the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The side letter has to yet been signed. Thus, the deadline for opting out will come no earlier than Tuesday, August 4.

Even though the side agreement has not been signed, players may opt out under the terms of the draft agreement negotiated on Friday by the NFL and the NFL Players Association. Once communicated to the term, the decision becomes binding and irrevocable; the player cannot play in 2020, for any team.