Patrick Chung: I want to play football, but family came first

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When Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower explained his decision to opt out of playing the 2020 season, he said that having an infant child and a mother with diabetes led him to prioritize their health over getting on the field.

Hightower’s teammate Patrick Chung also opted out this week and his rationale for making that call is very similar to his fellow Patriots defender. Chung appeared on CBS This Morning Wednesday to share this thinking.

“Of course it’s a tough decision,” Chung said, via MassLive.com. “You want to play football. I’m in the latter end of my career, so I wanted to play football. But when it comes down to it, I feel that money is not that important. I have a girlfriend that’s pregnant, a baby girl coming soon, my son has a little asthma, my dad is 75 years old. I just felt like this was the best decision for my family to keep everyone safe. I don’t think it’s fair to them. So I decided to do that. It’s not over. It’s just postponed a little bit.”

Chung said he had a short call with head coach Bill Belichick to let him know his plans and that Belichick is “a very caring person” who understood why Chung made that choice. The safety’s contract for 2020 will toll, which leaves him on track to make $1.1 million for the 2021 season.

10 responses to “Patrick Chung: I want to play football, but family came first

  1. Guys like Chung, Hightower, Cannon, and Bolden have been around; they have given a lot to the team and the fans. Not that any player needs to “earn” the right to opt out, but Chung has certainly paid his dues to the team, and my fellow NEPats fans have no space for grumbles.

  2. I’m a Pats fan and liked Chung but the past two years its been one injury after another. Ya taking a year off may be the same as taking off permanently as the pats will replace him in the off season and draft. Plus i read that a lot of these guys are hoping for some offer to change their mids like MO MONEY

  3. It would be real neat if like 20 players from one team said, nah, take a year off no big deal and force the league into a real bind. Hell the Lions entire team should take the year off, they usually do it on the field whats the diff

  4. First time in 20yrs that they will be mediocrity personified and the CV provides a nice little out. Let’s face it, they’re a 7-9 ish team AT BEST. You people know dang well if this was 2007 patriots with welker, moss, Brady, not a si glee soul would be opting out

  5. I can’t imagine the guilt that a player would feel if he brought COVID home to his family and someone dies.

    Is it worth it? It’s one thing to risk your own life. That should always be a personal decision. But with this virus, the risk is to those around you, including your family.

    Shut down the season. We can wait.

  6. The NFL is done for the year. They may try a few games but once everyone gets sick it will not only be over…but the law suits will start.

  7. More Pats will opt out and Belichick will use their spots to pick up cuts from other teams and use this as a developmental season for a lot more younger players than normal. Combined with more cap room in 2021, they will return to prominence more quickly than generally expected. The fact that they have their own planes will help them keep infections down during the season.

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