The NFL’s deadline for opting out of playing in 2020 due to health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic has passed.
There are no specifics regarding either player’s opt out, but the Bears are backing their players’ decisions at every turn. And as far as I’m concerned, I support (and understand) the decision by Goldman, Lucas, and everyone else who opted out. Some things are bigger than football.
For the sake of clarity, once an opt-out decision is made, that’s it. There is no turning back. Unlike in MLB where players can opt back in by a certain date, that option doesn’t exist for NFL players. So if you were hoping for Goldman to return after a late change of heart, it’s not happening.
Now, let’s talk about the opt outs themselves. There are two designations. One is voluntary. In which case, the player receives a $150,000 salary advance and their contract tolls to the next season. That means their 2020 contract will resume in 2021. So for Goldman, he resumes the extension he signed in 2018 when the 2021 season picks back up. And then there are high-risk opt outs. Players who qualify as having a high-risk condition are eligible for a $350,000 stipend.
It’s also worth pointing out that players can still opt out after the deadline. It can happen if a “close family member” gets sick with COVID or if the player themselves is newly diagnosed. But know that there were two types of opt outs. For more on the opt outs, you can read this from the NFLPA.