The Miami Dolphins put three players on the COVID IR Monday but so far, no one has opted out, yet.
The NFL and the NFLPA agreed on an opt-out procedure but so far, no Miami Dolphins players have taken the opportunity.
What we know so far is that if a player opts out, they will receive a stipend of around $150,000 that will go up if the opt-out is due to medical concerns. There is a long list of what a player must be diagnosed with.
Players that opt-out will have the stipend deducted from the 2021 salary, they must notify their team in writing within seven days of a letter being received from the NFL and the NFLPA. The contracts will basically remain the same for the 2021 season without a contract accrual. They will however be granted a full season accrual for pension purposes.
So far, the Miami Dolphins have not seen any players opt-out for the season but that could change at any time. Veterans will be reporting soon and we may see players choose this route when they get a look at how the Dolphins are securing the facility for health protection of the players.
In New England, several players have already opted out of the season. This is not reversible. There is a provision that could allow a player to opt-out later in the season due to family issues related to the virus.
Of the Patriots players, Donta’ Hightower is the most notable. The starting linebacker will be a loss for the Patriots. Branden Boldin has also opted out as has tackle Marcus Cannon, and FB Danny Vitale. You can see a running list of league players here.
The fact no Dolphins players have taken the opportunity does not mean some won’t. This is still early in the process and teams are working to figure out the safest way to keep players safe at the facilities and outlining the league rules and procedures for how they handle themselves away from the facility.
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South Florida has been an epicenter of COVID growth in recent weeks and the Miami Marlins have 14 cases of the virus that has shut down MLB games. The Dolphins are a team that is being watched nationally and expectations are that players will inevitably test positive.
On the other hand, the Dolphins are one of the few major sports teams that have been declared one of the cleanest and healthiest facilities. The Dolphins have been working on getting things ready for the start of camp with player safety a top priority.
For now, as the excitement starts to ramp up over the start of camp, the waiting, as they say, is the hardest part. We are in that window so we will know soon who opts out of the season.