NFL Opt-Out 2020: Here's Every Player You Won't See This Year

NFL Opt-Out 2020: Here's Every Player You Won't See This Year

Illustration for article titled NFL Opt-Out 2020: Heres Every Player You Wont See This Year
Illustration: Deadspin

While MLB sorts through various positive COVID-19 cases in its league, and the NBA hunkers down in a theoretical bubble in Orlando to finish its season, the NFL — even while agreeing to cancel its preseason — has made it clear the ball will be snapped under the bright lights this fall.

All terms for the season have been agreed upon between the league and the NFL Players Association. High-risk players who opt out will receive a $350,000 stipend and everyone else who opts out will receive $150,000. Health issues constituting high risk include: asthma, sickle cell disease, and type 2 diabetes with the exception of BMI.

The NFLPA and league also agreed to spread the financial losses of the season over a four-year period. Each team’s cap for 2020 is $198.2 million with a decline to no less than $175 million for the following four seasons.

Here are the players opting out of the 2020 season:

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San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco 49ers

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Photo: AP

Travis Benjamin

Benjamin, a former Charger, announced his decision on August 4. “I feel this is the best decision for my family,” the wide receiver wrote in a statement.

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Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears

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Photo: Getty

Eddie Goldman

Goldman is a 2015 second-round pick who has emerged as one of the focal pieces of the Bears’ defense.

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Photo: AP

Jordan Lucas

After spending two seasons each with Miami and Kansas City, Lucas signed a 1-year deal with the Bears to provide depth at safety, where Chicago always seems to be injured and/or short-staffed. Lucas was probably looking at a backup role to Deon Bush or Tashaun Gipson Sr. at strong safety, but, saying that he doesn’t feel like the world is taking COVID-19 seriously, Lucas decided to opt-out without playing a single snap for Chicago.

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Cincinnati Bengals

Cincinnati Bengals

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Photo: AP

Josh Tupou

The 26-year-old Tupou, a 6’4”, 325-pound defensive tackle, announced he will not take the field in 2020 due to coronavirus fears.

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Buffalo Bills

Buffalo Bills

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Photo: AP

E.J. Gaines

Bills GM Brandon Beane broke the news in early August that Gaines, a talented but injury-plagued cornerback, would be sitting out the season.

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Star Lotulelei

Lotulelei has been a big contributor along the Bills’ line but the team is making an effort to become more efficient against the run — an area Loutulelei has struggled.

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Denver Broncos

Denver Broncos

Ja’Wuan James

James, projected to be the Broncos’ starting right tackle, opted out citing “too much unknown about this virus & about plans handling it going forward,” in a statement made to Twitter Monday. James was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the first round in 2014 and played there until signing with the Broncos last year. James and his wife had a baby on May 22.

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Cleveland Browns

Cleveland Browns

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Photo: Getty

Andrew Billings

The Browns on August 4 placed Billings, a fourth-year defensive tackle, on the opt-out list. The team had high hopes for Billings, who spent his first three seasons with the Bengals.

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Photo: AP

Drake Dorbeck

Dorbeck, an undrafted rookie offensive tackle, was named the state of Missouri’s best college lineman last season. His addition to the roster was praised as adding much-needed depth to the Browns’ OL, but the team will need to wait one more year before Dorbeck takes the field.

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Photo: AP

Drew Forbes

Forbes’ absence in 2020 is another blow to the Browns’ offensive line.The third-year right guard was expected to compete for a starting spot on the roster before his opt-out was announced.

Colby Gossett

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Kyle Peko

Peko is the Broncos starting nose tackle. John Elway said Tuesday Peko’s participation, “ was more dangerous for him” to play during the pandemic. His wife surmounted Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and is currently in remission.

Malcolm Pridgeon

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Brad Seaton

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Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals

Marcus Gilbert

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Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs

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Laurent Duvernay-Tardif

Tardif is the starting guard for the Chiefs. He also has a medical doctor degree allowing him to see first hand the effects of COVID-19.

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Photo: AP

Lucas Niang

Niang is a rookie offensive tackle for the Chiefs, taken in the third round of this year’s draft.

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Damien Williams

Williams joined the Chiefs two years ago as a free agent. He served as a replacement for Kareem Hunt after Hunt, who was let go by the Chiefs after a domestic violence incident was caught on video. Williams became the Chiefs’ primary running back midway through the 2019 season and scored a go-ahead touchdown in the Super Bowl LIV.

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Indianapolis Colts

Indianapolis Colts

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Photo: AP

Rolan Milligan

Miligan entered the league in 2016 as an undrafted free agent with the Dallas Cowboys, he has since bounced around on two other rosters between active roster and practice squad. He has spent the last two seasons in the Colts secondary.

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Skai Moore

Moore joined the Colts as an undrafted free agent in 2018. In Indianapolis, he has jumped between practice squad and active roster. He has four tackles in 10 career games.

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Marvell Tell

Tell was a fifth-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. The safety played in 13 games last year for 26 tackles.

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Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys

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Maurice Canady

Canady has played in 32 games for the Ravens and Jets over the last four seasons. He was on a one year deal with the Cowboys this season.

Stephen Guidry

Guidry was a 2020 undrafted free agent wide receiver that signed with the Dallas Cowboys. He played at Mississippi State. He was unlikely to make the Cowboys final roster.

Jamize Olawale

Olawale is the Cowboys primary fullback but last season was only featured in 10 % of the team’s snaps. He started his career with the Cowboys after going undrafted in 2012. He was later waved during the preseason that year and signed with the Oakland Raiders later that season. He returned to the Cowboys in the off-season in 2018.

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Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins

Allen Hurns

Hurns is a starting receiver for the Miami Dolphins. He returned back to Miami on a one-year deal last year after spending stints in Dallas and Jacksonville. In November he signed a two year extension with Miami. Last season, he had 32 catches for 416 yards and two touchdowns in 14 starts with the Dolphins.

In a tweet Hurns said:

“Definitely wasn’t an easy decision,” but that he is doing what is best for his family “especially with a baby boy on the way.”

Albert Wilson II

Wilson signed with the Miami Dolphins in 2018. The wide receiver spent his first four seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs after becoming an undrafted free agent from Georgia State. He has a touchdown for 351 yards last season.

“Because of this crazy time I choose to put my family in the best position I see fit,” Wilson said in a tweet on Wednesday.

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Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles

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Photo: AP

Marquise Goodwin

Goodwin was among a handful of receivers the Eagles signed this offseason to fill a dire need. Played for the San Francisco 49ers last season. He has a five-month-old daughter.

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New York Giants

New York Giants

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Photo: AP

Sam Beal

Beal has been injury ravaged for most of his two year career. The cornerback has only played in four games over the last two seasons.

Da’Mari Scott

Scott became a member of the Giants before the 2019 season and caught two passes for 22 yards. He also returned punts and kickoffs for the squad in five regular season games.

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Photo: AP

Nate Solder

Solder is a starting offensive tackle for the Giants. The two-time Super Bowl champ with the New England Patriots’ son is battling cancer and his wife is currently pregnant.

“As scary and bleak as it sometimes can be, we know that the God of the universe has all things under His control, and his plans are and will always be for our good,” he wrote in a statement on Twitter.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jacksonville Jaguars

Lerentee McCray

The veteran defensive end decided to opt-out of the season “with the health and safety of his family in mind.” McCray has four sacks and over 60 tackles in his career.

Rashaan Melvin

Melvin, of the Jaguars, entered the league in 2013 as an undrafted free agent with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He has spent time on eight different teams but this off season he signed a 1-year, $2.25 million deal with the Jaguars. The cornerback started 12 games for Detroit last season.

Al Woods

Woods was the first player for Jaguars to opt-out of the 2020 season. The 11th-year defensive lineman has totaled 5.5 sacks and more than 200 tackles in his career.

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New York Jets

New York Jets

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Photo: Getty

C.J. Mosley

Mosley, a four-time Pro Bowler and the highest paid player on the Jets, is opting out of the 2020 NFL season. He was placed on the Jets injury reserve in December due to a groin injury. He is opting out due to family health reasons.

Leo Koloamatangi

The former Lion was active seven games last season but never saw the field. He has spent time on a number of practice squads and active rosters over three seasons. He hasn’t seen regular-season action over that time.

Josh Doctson

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Detroit Lions

Detroit Lions

Geronimo Allison

The Lions receiver decided to opt-out of the season because of the “uncertainty” around the coronavirus and the “intense desire” to protect his family. Allison has been a playmaker for years in the league and has totaled 89 receptions for just over 1,000 yards during in tenure in the league.

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Photo: AP

John Atkins

The defensive tackle joined the Lions as a rookie free agent in 2018 but bounced from the practice squad to active roster throughout that season. He played in 12 games in 2019 including six starts making 20 tackles.

Russell Bodine

Bodine was the third player to forgo the 2020 season for the Lions. The NFL veteran joins a list of growing players choosing to not participate this fall.

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Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Packers

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Photo: AP

Devin Funchess

Funchess, an NFL Veteran, joined a struggling Packers receiving corps this off season. Funchess had become a caretaker for many family members suffering from COVID-19.

He posted on Instagram: “Family is first. Always has been. Always will be. In such unpredictable times, it’s been one of the constants on my mind as I’ve worked through one of the toughest decisions of my life.”

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Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers

Jordan Mack

Christian Miller

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New England Patriots

New England Patriots

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Brandon Bolden

Bolden was one of the Patriots’ key running backs and kick returners last season. He’s a two-time Super Bowl winner.

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Marcus Cannon

Cannon spent last season as the Patriots’ starting right tackle. He’s a three-time Super Bowl winner.

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Patrick Chung

Chung is the starting safety for New England. He told NFL Network that his mother has type 2 diabetes and he is expecting a child with his fiancee.

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Dont’a Hightower

Hightower is the starting inside linebacker for the Patriots. He’s a three-time Super Bowl winner. His son was born earlier this month. Hightower’s mother, L’Tanya, has Type 2 diabetes.

Matt LaCosse

Marquise Lee

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Photo: AP

Najee Toran

Toran was on the Patriots practice squad last season. The 24-year-old was expected to compete for an interior offensive line position this year.

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Photo: AP

Danny Vitale

Vitale was a 2016 6th-round selection by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He has spent the last four seasons bouncing around from team to team, appearing in five games last season for the Green Bay Packers.

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Las Vegas Raiders

Las Vegas Raiders

Ukeme Eligwe

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Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore Ravens

Andre Smith

Smith has spent 11 seasons in the NFL, most of which has been with the Cincinnati Bengals. He signed with the Ravens this offseason to provide depth up front.

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Photo: AP

De’Anthony Thomas

The receiver is a 2014 fourth-round pick who spent six seasons with the Chiefs before making his way to Baltimore in midseason last year. He was Baltimore’s lead returner in combined yardage last season.

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New Orleans Saints

New Orleans Saints

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Jason Vander Laan

Vander Laan has spent most of his four seasons in the league bouncing around from team to team, including the Carolina Panthers. However last season he did see the field a few times. In late December he was moved to injured reserve after suffering an in-game head injury.

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Cole Wick

Wick ended last season on the Saints practice squad. He has spent time on the Tennessee Titans, Detroit Lions and the San Francisco 49ers roster over the last four seasons.

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Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks

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Chance Warmack

Warmack was a right guard on the Seahawks and was likely to compete for the starting job this season. A few months ago, Warmack had a family member die of COVID-19 with other family members being hospitalized. He won a Super Bowl with the Phliadelphia Eagles in 2018.

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Houston Texans

Houston Texans

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Eddie Vanderdoes

Vanderdoes, a nose tackle, played three games for the Texans last season. He suffered a torn ACL late in his rookie year of 2018, and has struggled to regain his footing in the league.

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Tennessee Titans

Tennessee Titans

Anthony McKinney

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Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota Vikings

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Michael Pierce

The former Raven would have been the starting nose tackle for the Vikings this season but he suffers from asthma and will sit this season out.

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Washington Football Team

Washington Football Team

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Photo: AP

Caleb Brantley

Brantley is a defensive lineman who was a sixth-round draft choice by the Cleveland Browns in 2017. He has been ravaged by injuries the last two seasons only appearing in eight games for Washington.

Josh Harvey-Clemons

Harvey-Clemons entered the league as a seventh-round selection for Washington in 2017. He has appeared in 35 games with 41 tackles and 1.5 sacks.

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