It was learned on June 23 that NFL players could once again opt out of participating in the season because of concerns related to COVID-19. While 67 players chose to sit through the 2020 campaign, the world is now a different and, hopefully, safer place.
According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, it’s believed that zero players opted out ahead of the July 2 deadline to do so. All opt-out decisions were to be final, and voluntary opt-outs were to get nothing after such individuals received $150,000 stipends last year. Opt outs deemed high-risk for the coronavirus would’ve received $350,000 stipends for the second consecutive season.
As of June 25, 65% of players had reportedly received at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot, and teams are hoping numbers for fully vaccinated personnel will increase before training camp sessions open later this month.
Interestingly, observers such as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk speculated about whether disgruntled Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers would or even could opt out per the agreement between the NFL and NFL Players Association. ESPN’s Adam Schefter was quick to point out Rodgers’ name was nowhere to be found on the league’s transactions list, meaning he remains available to play this fall.