Today’s 4 pm EST deadline for NFL players to opt-out of the 2020 season has passed, and there have been no more opt-outs for any Bengals. Paul Dehner has also confirmed there have been no more Bengals opt-outs.
Entering today, the only Bengals to opt-out were offensive tackle Isaiah Prince and defensive tackle Josh Tupou.
Some wondered if defensive tackle Geno Atkins could opt out due to his sickle cell trait, as people with that condition have a higher risk of serious damage to their body if they contract the coronavirus.
That’s why Atkins may have been able to get the NFL’s high-risk opt-out plan, which would have paid him $350,000 and given him an accrued season.
But as of now, no new Bengals have opted out, though this is not the end of opt-outs for the upcoming season.
Players will have the opportunity to opt-out after the deadline if “a close family member gets seriously sick with COVID or if they themselves are newly diagnosed with a high-risk condition,” per the NFLPA.
For a refresher, two types of opt-out plans are available. Players who qualify as having a high-risk condition will receive a $350,000 stipend that does not count as a salary advance, their contracts will toll, and they will earn an accrued season toward free agency.
Players who don’t qualify as high risk can choose the voluntary opt-out option, which includes a $150,000 salary advance for the 2021 season and a tolling of contracts but no credit of an accrued season.