As you know, Kansas City Chiefs right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif was the first NFL player to decide not to play the 2020 season under the withdrawal provisions set by the league and the NFL Players Association. (NFLPA) in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. On Wednesday, running back Damien Williams became the second boss to exercise the option.
But these two bosses are far from the only players who have decided not to participate in the coming season. As of this writing Thursday morning, a total of 28 other NFL players from 19 other franchises have informed their teams that they will be taking a pass for 2020.
Washington football team
New York Giants
New York Jets
Green Bay Packers
New England Patriots
Saints of New Orleans
Titans of Tennessee
So far, 12 teams have yet to have a player elected to sit down: San Francisco 49ers, Cincinnati Bengals, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Chargers , Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, Atlanta Falcons, Jacksonville Jaguars, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Rams and Pittsburgh Steelers.
But there will undoubtedly be more players who decide to miss the season. According to reports, the amended collective agreement (CBA) gives players a seven-day window to opt out. But that window doesn’t open until the NFL and NFLPA have signed the new provisions. This has yet to happen – apparently because lawyers for both parties continue to work on the final language of the new parties to the contract.
So the parade of players taking their places on the bench will continue until at least August 6 – and depending on the speed of the lawyers, possibly longer.
We know that there are two types of unsubscribe: voluntary and high risk. In both types, the player’s existing contract tolls (or take a break) for a year. So in the case of Damien Williams – who would have been a free agent in 2021 – the terms of his 2020 contract will now move to the 2021 season; he will now become a free agent in 2022. But in both types, any signing bonus that would have been charged to the cap in 2020 remains in the current year.
So, Williams’ 2020 prorated signing bonus of $ 533,334 (and what is apparently a guaranteed practice bonus of $ 50,000) remains in the team’s cap for the upcoming season; for capping purposes, only his base salary and unsecured bonuses (totaling $ 2.1 million) move on to the following season.
While there are apparently some provisions that would allow players to choose to be absent later in the season (for example, if a family member becomes ill), in both types the decision to withdraw is essentially irrevocable. ; players are stuck with their decision.
But the two types of elections differ in two important areas.
The first is that a player who chooses to miss the season on purpose receives a stipend of $ 150,000 for the year, while a high-risk player (i.e. a player with specific medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma, cancer, etc.) receives $ 350,000. . In both cases, they are advances on their salary for the following year; these amounts will continue to be charged against the 2021 salary cap.
But perhaps the most important difference is that players who voluntarily choose to opt out do not collect an accumulated season in 2020, while high risk players will rack up another season. This affects many CBA calculations, including a player’s minimum wage and the retirement benefits they will eventually be entitled to.
While a few players (notably Washington defensive end Caleb Brantley) have stepped down as high-risk players, we don’t know exactly what type of election each of those 30 players used. Much like the special reserve / COVID designation which is also part of the new CBA provisions, this appears to be deliberate; the NFL and the NFLPA would prefer that we not know if the players on the new reserve list have tested positive or have simply been exposed to another infected person. Likewise, the NFL and NFLPA believe it is none of our business if a player has medical conditions that place them in a high risk category for COVID-19.
This is what we know about nuts and bolts. But clearly, those opt-outs will have consequences on the pitch as well, as they effectively put players on the injured reserve for the entire season – except they won’t have a chance to come back after eight weeks.
So far the chefs have been lucky. The team had previously used a first-round pick to acquire running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the 2020 draft. The LSU star – previously seen as a player who could find his way into the starting lineup at some point – is now the presumed starter. The team were also able to recruit eight-year veteran Kelechi Osemele to help fill the void left by Duvernay-Tardif’s decision – but they already had veterans like Mike Remmers, Greg Senat, Martinas Rankin and Nick Allegretti. (and rookies Lucas Niang, Yasir Durant and Darryl Williams) in the fold; chefs can adapt in many ways as their canadian doctor continues medical work during the pandemic.
But it might be more difficult for some other teams – especially the Patriots, who have (so far) lost six players to withdraw from the election; four of them are established (or planned) starters. Whatever the cause of the rash in opt-outs in New England, this will be a tough pill to swallow.
While no one is likely to accuse head coach Bill Belichick’s team of a historic inability to get enough depth on the roster – an accusation that will likely not stick with a team with their record of success. supported – no team wants to lose four starters before the first. practice the boot camp cliché. In short, the team that also lost quarterback Tom Brady in the offseason has another hill to climb.