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NFL opt-out list reaches 66 players who will not play in 2020 season due to COVID-19
A total of 66 players have decided to opt-out of the 2020 National Football League due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic after the NFL opt-out deadline on Thursday, August 6, 4 p.m. ET.
Of the 32 teams, only three had no NFL opt-out while the New England Patriots have the most number of players deciding not to play this year at eight.
The three teams that had none of their players deciding not to play in the 2020 NFL season slated to kick off on September 10 were Pittsburg Steelers, Atlanta Falcons and Los Angeles Chargers.
The eight Patriots who decided not to see action were running back Brandon Bolden, fullback Dan Vitale, offensive tackle Marcus Cannon, offensive lineman Najee Toran, safety Patrick Chung, wide receiver Marqise Lee, linebacker Dont'a Hightower, and tight end Matt LaCosse.
Prior to the opt-out policy, New England had already lost several stars to free agency including quarterback Tom Brady considered as the sports' GOAT, who inked with Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
According to the NFL opt-out policy, players who are considered as COVID-19 high risk will receive a stipend of $350,000 while those who voluntarily decide not to play because of the pandemic will get an advance of $150,000 which will be taken from their 2021 salary.
Super Bowl LIV champions, the Kansas City Chiefs, have three players sitting out the season. They are offensive tackle Lucas Niang, running back Damien Williams and guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif.
There is no question of how important Duvernay-Tardif is to the Chiefs as he played every offensive snap in their win over the San Francisco 49ers during the Super Bowl LIV.
However, Duvernay-Tardif was the first player who decided not to see action this season because being a graduate of medical school; he is serving as an orderly at a long-term care facility in Montreal in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The San Francisco 49ers, on the other hand, have two players joining the NFL opt-out—offensive lineman Shon Coleman and wide receiver Travis Benjamin, who signed a one-year deal with the 49ers just last March.