Deadline Today for NFL Players to Opt out of Season Due to Virus

first_imgNFL players must decide by 4 this afternoon whether they’ll play this season or opt out due to the virus.Miami Dolphin receivers Allen Hurns and Albert Wilson have opted out for the safety of their families.The NFLPA shortened the opt-out window by seven days in exchange for some concessions on the final language the union feels are beneficial to the players. Changes include, among other things: Better protection for players in the discipline process for “high-risk” behavior away from the facility. Per the agreement, players can be disciplined for engaging in activity that could increase the risk of spreading COVID-19, such as attending a concert or other indoor gathering with more than 15 people. Discipline in those cases would be decided by an arbitrator. The final agreement also includes a stipulation that front office employees and coaches can face discipline for similar behavior, one source said. More favorable language governing the calculation of potential revenue shortfalls due to COVID-19 and how those are made up in future years. The union had wanted to spread salary cap reductions that resulted from lost 2020 revenue out over the life of the new CBA, which runs through 2030, while the owners wanted to take the hit in 2020 and 2021. The July 24 agreement stipulated that there would be no cap impact this year, that the 2021 cap could be no lower than $175 million per team, and that further shortfalls would be made up over the years 2022-24.No major material changes were made to the July 24 terms, but sources said some of the arguments over the final language of the deal were conceded to players by the owners in return for agreeing to the shorter window between the finalizing of the deal and the opt-out deadline.On Sunday, New England Patriots safety and longtime captain Devin McCourty reacted strongly to the notion that the league was moving up the opt-out deadline.“I think it is an absolute joke that the NFL is changing the opt-out period, mainly because they don’t want to continue to see guys opt out. I’m sure they’re shocked about how many guys have opted out,” McCourty said in a video conference with Patriots reporters. “I think it’s terrible. I think it’s B.S. that the league has changed that date.”last_img read more