Bill Belichick on opt outs: “I totally respect and support it”

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The Patriots have been hit harder by COVID-19 opt-outs than any other NFL team, with six New England players already declaring that they will not play in 2020. If Bill Belichick is concerned, he’s not showing it.

Belichick said today that he has spoken to the six players, understands their reasoning and wishes them well.

I respect all of them,” Belichick said, via Henry McKenna of USA Today. “I talked to those guys and they explained their situations, and they had to make the decisions that were best for them, and I totally respect and support it.”

The six Patriots on the opt-out list are fullback Danny Vitale, guard Najee Toran, offensive lineman Marcus Cannon, linebacker Dont’a Hightower, running back Brandon Bolden and safety Patrick Chung. That’s a lot of talent that won’t be on the field in New England this season, but Belichick always has a plan for any challenge that arises.

51 responses to “Bill Belichick on opt outs: “I totally respect and support it”

  1. The hoodie will be fine. I’m not a big Patriots fan, but they are always well coached, disciplined, and have a plan. A lot of people have to make difficult decisions right now, it’s not an easy time. I hope they have all made the right choices.

  2. If you fill your team with smart football players, you have to respect and support when they make smart decisions.

  3. I’ve got to figure that coach will find a way to exploit this new rule, perhaps by turning the opt outs into a de facto 2nd practice squad and a way to keep more players under team control for next year.

  4. Knowing Bill, he is all excited about being able to play new players so he will know for the future. Also that is why Cam is there because the hoddie knew several was going to opt out and he wanted to protect his future QB. Besides that division is really weak so why not play several young players. Bill is a slick dude.

  5. 1960raiders says:
    July 31, 2020 at 4:00 pm
    Tank for Lawrence

    Sorry but he got exposed by LSU, he will not even be the best QB in the ACC this year.

  6. He probably regrets not being able to cut them or shipping them off to some bottom-feeder teams for mid-round picks…

  7. Cam can make almost as much by opting out. I can’t remember a year with so many interesting storylines– if the season happens– so many strong QB’s in the league right now. I have a feeling Burrow will be really good as well.

  8. I’ve always respected BB, even when he’d regularly trounce KC (but nice to see he has a friendly rival in Andy Reid when he has the players he wants).

    He’s definitely excited to see what he has right, and this whole pandemic provides him the opportunity to retool everything and everyone he needs to while not having the pressure to keep legend going.

  9. Going for the #1 draft pick to get a QB to replace Brady. This isn’t rocket science guys.

  10. redclaw1314 says:
    July 31, 2020 at 5:03 pm
    Tom Jackson,
    Do you still think that Belichick’s players do not like him?

    14 3

    ——————

    ESPN’s anti-BB quest out of NY/NFL offices goes back so many years.

    The utter joy of beating the system and knowing why Goodell was hires to try to slow him down and failing. The joy of if.

  11. ESPN’s anti-BB quest out of NY/NFL offices goes back so many years.

    The utter joy of beating the system and knowing why Goodell was hires to try to slow him down and failing. The joy of if.

    You seriously think he was hired to stop Bb. You need to get over yourself

  12. “Ladies and Gentlemen, the first submission in the “Tank for Trevor” sweepstakes is from … The New England Patriots!”

  13. Not that this has anything to do with if opting out is a good (smart) ide, but how does this impact future cap management that teams have been planning for? Pats gain cap space this year but they had a ton next year that is being reduced by opt outs this year. So will other teams. Maybe they would have gone after Aaron Rogers or the like (if Rogers become available).

  14. You all need to stop saying Tank for Lawrence. Whomever posted Abhorrence for Lawrence on one of these stories wins, and now we must all use that. Suck for Luck, Tank for Tua, and Abhorrence for Lawrence.

    Even if abhorrence has room many syllables for the mouth breathers around here.

  15. Tank for Trevor? Please …

    Pats win 8 games with coaching alone. 10 – 6 and AFC champs. Again.

  16. The comments suggesting that the Patriots are trying to “tank” the season clearly has not watched much Patriots football in the last two decades, if at all.

    Bill Belichick doesn’t tank (I doubt he knows that the concept exists) – he works with what he has and invariably puts his team in contention. I fully expect the same to happen this year, should we actually have a season.

  17. Billymutt is spot on. Belichick doesn’t tank– it’s not in his DNA. He’ll do all he can to get his team prepared to win. Period.

    The silver lining of having a guy like Hightower opt out is that it keeps him under contract for next year (when HOPEFULLY things will be back to “normal) at a manageable number. Had he opted in and ended up being a free agent next season, who knows what a guy like Vrabel or Patricia (if he still has a job) would offer him to end his career. The Patriots will be just fine, and even if they’re in a “rebuild,” they’re in great cap shape and it will be a quick turn-around I suspect.

  18. onebuffalove716 says:
    July 31, 2020 at 5:40 pm
    They gained $23 million in cap space I call that a win

    For this year only dude.
    ____________________________________
    Any leftover cap $$$ in 2020 can be carried over to 2021 when the cap will likely decrease, so yeah, it’s a win…….

  19. 1960raiders says:
    July 31, 2020 at 4:00 pm
    Tank for Lawrence
    ________________
    Not a PATS fan but I do know that Belichick will not do that. Despite what haters say that he is a cheater or whatever, he has too much pride and love of the game to tank a season.

  20. golions1 says:
    July 31, 2020 at 4:32 pm
    I’ve got to figure that coach will find a way to exploit this new rule, perhaps by turning the opt outs into a de facto 2nd practice squad and a way to keep more players under team control for next year.
    _______________
    LOL. Not a PATS fan but i respect what BB has accomplished in this game. Always makes me laugh when people hate on the PATS. Not one of the haters would feel that way if BB was hired to coach their favorite team. Give the guy a break for crying out loud. What he has accomplished in this game is unprecedented.

  21. orrbradybird says:
    July 31, 2020 at 6:09 pm
    Tank for Trevor? Please …

    Pats win 8 games with coaching alone. 10 – 6 and AFC champs. Again.
    ____________________
    I think the Bills might have something to say about that. Normally, I would agree with you but the PATS are working with a new QB and several players have opted out, BB is a football genius but I think the Bills are on the cusp of doing something special.

  22. Coach Belichick is a man of integrity and a family man. He understands the importance of family and children. He now is enjoying the pleasure of doing what he loves best, coaching, with his own sons. He is going to be completely understanding.

  23. Not one special athlete in the group, but people still haven’t figured out that roster talent isn’t why Belichick’s teams win. They win because he knows more than your coach.

  24. Bills have a nice team, but they have nothing to say about anything until the QB proves he can play. He has no excuses this yr. Otherwise it’s just another off-season Championship. Bills lead the league in that.

  25. We will see next year when he cuts all those guys before they can even get a foot inside the parking lot

  26. unlikely they’ll be up to their lofty 20 yr standard but with bill you know they’ll always find a way to be competitive against superior talent.

  27. For all the folks posting that the Patriots are sucking for the first pick…really. Do you all think they are that bad. The defense was solid. They will win more than 5 games. Other teams are going to be worse..Just look at my Jags. Plus any team is one qb on the IR away from suc!ing. Pats think they have 2 qbs.

  28. Can see the Patriots going in the tank and ending up with the #1 pick just for Belichick to trade it for 2 seconds and 2 thirds in which he picks four DBs no one has heard of.

  29. We often hear “________ is playing chess while everyone else plays checkers” and I suppose it may be right about some guys. Not Bill Belichick, though. While the others argue over chess and checkers, Bill Belichick is playing football. I’m sure glad he’s in that whole other Conference.

    ~Not a fan but able to recognize and acknowledge greatness.

  30. onebuffalove716 says:
    July 31, 2020 at 5:44 pm
    ESPN’s anti-BB quest out of NY/NFL offices goes back so many years.

    The utter joy of beating the system and knowing why Goodell was hires to try to slow him down and failing. The joy of if.

    You seriously think he was hired to stop Bb. You need to get over yourself

    21 47 Rate Thi

    ————-

    Yes, Woody Johnson strongly suggested Goodell.

    This is a fact. Guess who detests Woody Johnson (outside of other educated people).

  31. While I commend Belichick for acting like a human being for once, I also don’t see where he had much choice but to wish the opt-outs well.

    As for the idea of the Pats tanking, it won’t work. They still have too many teams that can lose more even if they’re trying hard, such as the Jets, Bengals, Raiders, Giants, Cardinals, Falcons, and Washington. But I don’t mind if they lose a lot.

    Pats fans, look at it this way. If they win, you get to acclaim the genius of Belichick. If they lose, you get to blame it on the opt-outs and the loss of Hollywood’s Quarterback and still proclaim BB as a genius.

  32. The cap space available this year should give them some room to trade for a player at the end of their current deal with another team up against the cap. I would be shocked if we don’t see the Patriots trade for defensive help leading up to the beginning of the season. My bet is they swing a deal with the Chargers

  33. “It is what it is….we deal with it”. I think I remember BB saying that more than once.

  34. “bird33 says:
    July 31, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    what else could he say?”

    He could have said “I have personal views that would probably not sit well with my professional occupation right now, I think I’ll just leave it like that.” like Jack Del Rio did.

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