So far, no Miami Dolphins players have opted out but it could be costly for some of the younger players if they do.
When the 2021 season comes around, the money Miami Dolphins players might receive should they opt-out, will come due according to a report.
As the media begins to sift through the pages of information that the NFL and the NFLPA approved as part of the opting-out options for players, more and more small print is being discovered.
We learned any team that has a player or players opt-out of the season will receive full credit including bonus money off their cap immediately. This will bode well for teams looking to create cap space ahead of the season to sign free agents or maybe even make trades.
Now we are also learning that should a player opt-out, they will receive pre-determined “stipends” to get them through the year, those numbers are $150,000 and $350,000 depending on why a player takes that option. The problem, the players will be required to pay that money back in 2021, regardless of whether they are on a roster or released. When ProFootballTalk.com talked to the NFL, they confirmed this.
"“Yes,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told PFT regarding whether the money would be owed by a 2020 opt out who is cut after he returns in 2021. “It’s a salary advance.”"
This is interesting because the NFL is considering it an advance on their salary.
While no Miami Dolphins players have opted to take the option, that doesn’t mean they won’t by Thursday, the deadline to do so. Now they may need to be certain that they have the money should it come due.
For most players, especially drafted rookies, it won’t really matter as they received bonuses but if they take that option, they will need to put some money away to cover the return or try hard not to spend it. For undrafted rookies and older veterans who may not be around in 2021 or find it hard to make a roster, it might be better to opt-out of taking the stipend all together.
Miami drafted 11 players last April and continued to sign undrafted free agents keeping their team one of the youngest in the NFL.
NOTE: ProFootballTalk posted a revised portion of this information that they received from the NFL. A player who is in the “high-risk” opt-out are not required to pay back the money, those who opt out voluntarily at the $150K level are required to pay the money back.