Five NFL players opt out of season

NFL rosters took a hit when five players opted out of taking part in the 2020 season due to the Covid-19 pandemic, reported by multiple media outlets.

That move was officially announced with the Baltimore Ravens revealing wide receiver/kick returner De’Anthony Thomas will not join the season.

The other players who reportedly opted out include Dallas Cowboys cornerback Maurice Canady, New England Patriots fullback Danny Vitale, Washington Football Team defensive end Caleb Brantley, and Seattle Seahawks guard Chance Warmack.

Brantley was put on the reserve list with a “higher-risk” designation – the only one of the five opt-outs reported on Monday in that category. The distinction means that he will receive a $350,000 stipend that won’t count against future earnings and also will be credited with one year of service time. The four other players will get a $150,000 salary advance and their contract will toll.

Before that day, Kansas City Chiefs offensive guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, a medical school graduate, was the only NFL player who had opted out of the season due to the coronavirus.

The 27-year-old player Thomas is forgoing a $935,000 salary this year. He split last season between Baltimore and Kansas City, averaging 5.7 yards on 26 punt returns and 18.9 yards on 17 kickoff returns. Thomas also had one reception for 6 yards and 2 carries for 5 yards in 14 games.

Meanwhile, Brantley, 25, played in 12 games for the Cleveland Browns in 2017, then came off the bench for Washington for 7 games and 1 game in 2018 and in 2019, respectively. He has 19 career tackles and 2 sacks.

Warmack, who had signed a $910,000 deal with Seattle in March, didn’t participate in the NFL in 2019. He made 48 starts at right guard for the Tennessee Titans from 2013 to 2016 and appeared in 20 games for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2017 and 2018. ESPN reported that one of his family members dead from COVID-19 and other family members had also infected with the virus.

Vitale, who has played for the Browns (2016-17) and the Green Bay Packers (2018-19), was due to make $1.3 million this year.

Canady, 26, played with the Ravens from 2016 until he was claimed off waivers last November.