While the COVID-19 pandemic finally appears to be nearing its end, NFL players will still have the option to opt out of the upcoming 2021 season, and they will have until July 2 to do so.
Players must inform their clubs of their intentions to opt out by 4 p.m. ET next Friday, but individuals deemed “high-risk” will once again be given a $350,000 stipend, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported. Voluntary opt outs by individuals not considered “high-risk” will not receive the stipend.
NFL players have until 4 p.m. ET next Friday, July 2 to inform their team if they’re opting out of the 2021 season, per source.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) June 23, 2021
“Higher Risk” players for COVID again are entitled to a $350,000 stipend. Voluntary opt-outs get nothing. (Last year, their stipend was $150,000.)
Pelissero also reported Wednesday that voluntary opt outs are only available to players who signed their contracts before Oct. 1, 2020. This means that rookies are ineligible.
A rookie considered “high-risk” could still opt out, but the team that drafted them would retain their rights.
In addition, all opt-out decisions are final, as they were in 2020.
Only players who executed their contracts prior to Oct. 1, 2020, are eligible to take a voluntary opt out, so 2021 rookies aren’t eligible. If a "Higher Risk" rookie opts out, the club still owns his rights. All opt-out decisions are final.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) June 23, 2021