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11 High-Profile NFL Players Who Opted Out of the 2020 Season — And How Much They Lost

·4 min read
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Mark Humphrey/AP/Shutterstock (10735736a)Kansas City Chiefs' Damien Williams (26) scores a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 54 football game in Miami Gardens, Fla.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Mark Humphrey/AP/Shutterstock (10735736a)Kansas City Chiefs' Damien Williams (26) scores a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 54 football game in Miami Gardens, Fla.

Football is a sport that checks all the boxes of things not to do during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The game doesn?t account for social distancing, with players breathing on each other and slamming into one another for 60 minutes each game day.

With that in mind, the NFL and the players? union worked out an agreement to allow players to opt out of the 2020 season without penalty. A player who opts out and is determined to be high risk for COVID-19 receives a $350,000 stipend, while his contract rolls over to the next season. In other words, a player?s deal that ran through 2023 would then be extended to the 2024 season.

Anyone who opts out voluntarily (and isn?t in a high-risk category) receives a $150,000 salary advance, but his contract is not extended.
The deadline for players to opt out was Aug. 6, although players can opt out later if they are determined to be high-risk or have a family situation.

Sixty-seven players chose to opt out. Here are 11 high-profile players who did and how much money they will lose this season. The coronavirus is costing NFL teams and players in many ways.

Last updated: Oct. 28, 2020

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Winslow Townson/AP/Shutterstock (10424219bp)New England Patriots offensive tackle Marcus Cannon during an NFL football game against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium, in Foxborough, MassJets Patriots Football, Foxborough, USA - 22 Sep 2019.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Winslow Townson/AP/Shutterstock (10424219bp)New England Patriots offensive tackle Marcus Cannon during an NFL football game against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium, in Foxborough, MassJets Patriots Football, Foxborough, USA - 22 Sep 2019.

Marcus Cannon, New England Patriots

Offensive tackle Marcus Cannon, 32, is a cancer survivor, having overcome non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Money lost in 2020: $6.1 million (He?s getting $350,000 for the COVID-19 opt out. His contract is pushed to 2021 because he’s high-risk.)

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Nick Wass/AP/Shutterstock (10466541az)New England Patriots strong safety Patrick Chung (23) stands on the field during the first half of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, in BaltimorePatriots Ravens Football, Baltimore, USA - 03 Nov 2019.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Nick Wass/AP/Shutterstock (10466541az)New England Patriots strong safety Patrick Chung (23) stands on the field during the first half of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, in BaltimorePatriots Ravens Football, Baltimore, USA - 03 Nov 2019.

Patrick Chung, New England Patriots

A defensive leader for the Patriots, 32-year-old safety Patrick Chung has spent 11 seasons in New England.

Money lost in 2020: $3.25 million (He?s getting a $3 million signing bonus, $100,000 workout bonus and $150,000 for COVID-19 opt out.)

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Duane Burleson/AP/Shutterstock (10429824aq)Kansas City Chiefs offensive guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (76) blocks for quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) during the first half of an NFL football game, in DetroitChiefs Lions Football, Detroit, USA - 29 Sep 2019.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Duane Burleson/AP/Shutterstock (10429824aq)Kansas City Chiefs offensive guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (76) blocks for quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) during the first half of an NFL football game, in DetroitChiefs Lions Football, Detroit, USA - 29 Sep 2019.

Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Kansas City Chiefs

The starting right guard for the Super Bowl champion Chiefs was the first player to opt out. He’s also a medical school graduate, working at a long-term care facility in Montreal.

Money lost in 2020: $7,572,600 (He?s getting a 750,000 roster bonus, plus $150,000 for COVID-19 opt out.)

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Amr Alfiky/AP/Shutterstock (10357951c)Chicago Bears nose tackle Eddie Goldman breaks through the Carolina Panthers offensive line during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, in ChicagoBears Football, Chicago, USA - 08 Aug 2019.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Amr Alfiky/AP/Shutterstock (10357951c)Chicago Bears nose tackle Eddie Goldman breaks through the Carolina Panthers offensive line during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, in ChicagoBears Football, Chicago, USA - 08 Aug 2019.

Eddie Goldman, Chicago Bears

The 26-year-old defensive tackle was expected to play a huge role for the Chicago defense this season.

Money lost in 2020: $7.26 million (He?s getting a $3 million roster bonus, $100,000 workout bonus and $150,000 for COVID-19 opt out.)

Read More: Which NFL Teams America Is Betting On This Season

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Elise Amendola/AP/Shutterstock (10457792bf)New England Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower (54) runs for a touchdown after recovering a fumble in the first half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, in Foxborough, MassBrowns Patriots Football, Foxborough, USA - 27 Oct 2019.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Elise Amendola/AP/Shutterstock (10457792bf)New England Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower (54) runs for a touchdown after recovering a fumble in the first half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, in Foxborough, MassBrowns Patriots Football, Foxborough, USA - 27 Oct 2019.

Dont'a Hightower, New England Patriots

Dont’a Hightower, 30, is a team captain for the Patriots who called the defensive signals for Bill Belichick’s defense.

Money lost in 2020: $8.725 million (He?s getting a $150,000 for COVID-19 opt out.)

Mandatory Credit: Photo by David Zalubowski/AP/Shutterstock (10355302bh)R m.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by David Zalubowski/AP/Shutterstock (10355302bh)R m.

Ja'Wuan James, Denver Broncos

The 28-year-old was expected to be a starting tackle for the Broncos.

Money lost in 2020: $17 million (His base salary will be delayed to 2021.)

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Bill Kostroun/AP/Shutterstock (10433100l)Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Star Lotulelei warms up before an NFL football game against the New York Giants, in East Rutherford, N.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Bill Kostroun/AP/Shutterstock (10433100l)Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Star Lotulelei warms up before an NFL football game against the New York Giants, in East Rutherford, N.

Star Lotulelei, Buffalo Bills

Star Lotulelei is a major cog in the Bills defensive line, serving as a run-stuffing tackle.

Money lost in 2020: $5.5 million (He?s getting a $500,000 roster bonus and $150,000 for COVID-19 opt out.)

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Bill Kostroun/AP/Shutterstock (10781842t)New York Jets inside linebacker C.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Bill Kostroun/AP/Shutterstock (10781842t)New York Jets inside linebacker C.

C.J. Mosley, New York Jets

C.J. Mosley, who missed 14 games last season with a groin injury after signing a huge free-agent deal, opted out for family reasons.

Money lost in 2020: $6 million (He?s getting a $10 million roster bonus, plus $150,000 for COVID-19 opt out.)

Read More: How Much Athletes Make for Playoff Runs in the NBA. NFL and Other Sports

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Nick Wass/AP/Shutterstock (10726008a)Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Michael Pierce (97) celebrates his fumble recovery with linebacker Tyus Bowser (54) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Baltimore.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Nick Wass/AP/Shutterstock (10726008a)Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Michael Pierce (97) celebrates his fumble recovery with linebacker Tyus Bowser (54) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Baltimore.

Michael Pierce, Minnesota Vikings

Michael Pierce, 27, suffers respiratory problems, so he’s on the high-risk list. The Vikings signed him to a free-agent deal from the Baltimore Ravens.

Money lost in 2020: $3 million (He?s getting a $6 million signing bonus, plus $350,000 for COVID-19 opt out. His contract is pushed to 2021 because he’s high-risk.)

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Adam Hunger/AP/Shutterstock (10506128dg)New York Giants offensive tackle Nate Solder (76) watches the ball in the second half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, in East Rutherford, N.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Adam Hunger/AP/Shutterstock (10506128dg)New York Giants offensive tackle Nate Solder (76) watches the ball in the second half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, in East Rutherford, N.

Nate Solder, New York Giants

Nate Solder, 32, is in the middle of a four-year, $62 million deal. He?s a cancer survivor and has a son facing cancer.

Money lost in 2020: $12.25 million (He?s getting a $3 million roster bonus, $100,000 workout bonus and $150,000 for COVID-19 opt out.)

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Mark Humphrey/AP/Shutterstock (10735736a)Kansas City Chiefs' Damien Williams (26) scores a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 54 football game in Miami Gardens, Fla.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Mark Humphrey/AP/Shutterstock (10735736a)Kansas City Chiefs' Damien Williams (26) scores a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 54 football game in Miami Gardens, Fla.

Damien Williams, Kansas City Chiefs

Damien Williams, 28, scored two touchdowns in the 2020 Super Bowl. He led the Chiefs in rushing last season.

Money lost in 2020: $2.35 million (He?s getting $50,000 workout bonus, plus $150,000 for COVID-19 opt out.)

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 11 High-Profile NFL Players Who Opted Out of the 2020 Season — And How Much They Lost