The NFL has officially set the opt-out deadline for Thursday, August 6th at 4 pm EST. This is the final day players can use one of the league’s two opt-out plans for next season due to the coronavirus.
For a refresher, high-risk individuals can opt out and receive a $350,000 stipend, whereas those less at risk would receive a $150,000 stipend.
According to NFL Network reporter Tom Pelissero, players can also opt out during the season if one of these two scenarios arises:
- A new diagnosis reveals that a player has a high-risk condition.
- A player’s family member dies, is hospitalized, or is otherwise moved to a medical facility because of a COVID-19 or a related condition.
In addition, the NFL will allow teams to fine players if they don’t adhere to COVID-19 preventative measures like social-distancing and wearing a mask. Players will also be subject to fines for refusing to submit to virus testing.
Among the notable NFL players who’ve already opted out include Bills defensive tackle Star Lotulelei, Bears defensive tackle Eddie Goldman, Broncos offensive tackle Ja’Wuan James, Giants offensive lineman Nate Solder, Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley, and Patriots offensive tackle Marcus Canon, linebacker Donte Hightower and safety Patrick Chung.
For the Bengals, they’ve had defensive tackle Josh Tupou and offensive tackle Isiah Prince opt out.