The clock is ticking for NFL players to make a decision regarding their playing status for the 2020 season.
The league is expected to set an opt-out deadline for Wednesday, August 5, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. While the decision is not finalized, Wednesday's deadline appears imminent.
It’s still being negotiated and finalized, but the players’ opt-out deadline at this point is looking like Wednesday.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 2, 2020
Across the NFL, we've seen several players opt-out of the 2020 season as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage across the United States. The New England Patriots have seen a league-high eight players forego the 2020 season. While none of the league's top stars have decided to sit out the 2020 season -- yet -- New York Jets Jets Pro Bowl linebacker C.J. Mosley and Chiefs Super Bowl hero Damien Williams headline the most notable players to opt-out.
There's a reason the NFL is setting its opt-out deadline for nearly six weeks before Week 1. According to ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio, the league wants to shorten its opt-out window because teams feel that players on the roster bubble are using the benefits of opting out as leverage.
For players that choose to forego the 2020 season, they will either earn a $350,000 stipend (for players who are deemed high-risk) or a $150,000 stiped (those not deemed high-risk).
Source: NFL wants to shorten opt-out window because some players who fear they'd be cut are taking the stipend and others who want new deals are using a potential opt out as leverage https://t.co/WpH8O0aoYS— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) August 2, 2020
The NFL is not the only league to see its players decide to skip the season in the midst of a pandemic. Several NBA players opted not to travel to Orlando for the season's resumption, while the MLB is still seeing players opt-out two weeks into its season.
With the NFL's opt-out reported deadline less than four days away, it's likely more will join the nearly 40 different players that have decided to pass on the season.
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