Teams worry that opt-out privilege isn’t being used in good faith

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The NFL reportedly wants to shorten the deadline for opting out. The desire to give players less time to decide on playing in 2020 comes from at least two specific concerns.

As one source explained it to PFT, teams are concerned that some players who think they won’t make the team are choosing to opt out and to take the six-figure stipend. While players apparently would owe the money back to the teams if they fail to make the roster in 2021, no team wants to have to chase a former player around next year in an effort to retrieve $150,000 or $350,000.

Another concern comes from an issue we’ve previously flagged: Some agents, per the source, are using the threat of an opt out as leverage to get their clients new contracts.

That’s not a surprise, and it’s not necessarily a sign of bad faith. For some players, consideration of the various risks that must be navigated before making a final decision definitely includes the reward. For plenty of players, a significant bump in compensation could be the difference between opting out and opting in.

We’ve yet to hear of any specific agents or players who are using a potential opt out as leverage for a new contact. That’s probably because the agents who are making these requests are being discreet, given the potential fan and media reaction to the perception that a shield is being transformed into a sword.

Still, if a player is truly on the fence about playing, the compensation the player will receive for assuming the added risk of playing in a pandemic definitely should be a factor. There’s nothing wrong in those situations for making it known to the team that more money would make a player more willing to embrace the problems of playing pro football in a pandemic.

41 responses to “Teams worry that opt-out privilege isn’t being used in good faith

  1. Yea, and NFL teams always negotiate in good faith.

    The Jets and Woody Johnson, Mr. Ambassador, were known to cut veteran guys late when rosters were full and salary caps limited. Heck, they held on to Tebow as if he had trade value.

    Belichick is all business, as seen in the Newton signing, but he cuts guys early to give them a chance to catch on with another team.

  2. I did notice some of the Patriots players that opted out felt like guys on the bubble. Patrick Chung in particular has been around a while, it’s not hard to imagine someone cheaper and younger knocking him out of a job. Same could be said for a 30 year old Brandon Bolden.

  3. It’s amazing. Seems like the teams only want things slanted in their favor at every possible turn.

  4. Leave it to those sneaky Pats to be the first to circumvent any system. This team has no boundaries when it comes to breaking the rules and cheating.

  5. Of course. Its a chess match between playerS vs owners. They WILL always be at odds with each other.

  6. I’d be concerned too if I were an owner. Players like CJ Mosley opting out after getting a $10 million dollar roster bonus March. He’d be crazy to play after already getting the vast majority of his 2020 salary paid up front.

  7. The average career in the NFL is 3 years and owners want changes made to an already agreed upon opt out? Just cancel the season and give every player on each team’s 80 man roster 200,000 and hope next year it’s better-

  8. Players that are trying to take advantage of the opt-out probably won’t be playing a lot of football in the future.

    Kind of weed-out mechanism GMs and coaches will use to determine which players really are passionate about football.

  9. This was my initial thought after the Bosa extension. It felt odd in both the timing of it as well as the contract numbers. He certainly had leverage.

  10. Maybe they’ll just cancel the season and the players get nothing. I think that’s what’s being hinted at. Don’t get greedy, or you get nothing

  11. I think a lot of the Patriots players that are opting out are trying to get a new deal. A lot of those guys played under market value for years to play with Brady and a chance at a ring. Those days are over.

  12. How many of these players will get cut next year. Just so the team can recoup the money.

  13. The real problem will be the quality of play and controversy that motivates the fans to opt-out. The owners could still pull the plug on the whole season.

  14. The NFL and teams usually have the upper hand vs the players. All of a sudden, they think that it’s unfair because circumstances may allow players to stay safe and collect a paycheck.

    The NFL and the Teams have been very slow about announcing all of the safety measures that each team will have in place. How can the players decide whether the risk is low before everything is in place?

    The players should have a lot of time to decide if they want to opt out.

  15. I think Mosley opting out after collecting a roster bonus and triggering a guarantee for the 2021 season may have sent up about 1,000 red flags.

  16. How about the theory that the Pat players have jointly discussed this within themselves? Colluding to opt out should be discussed as an issue. How can they have 8 guys opt out and not sure if there’s another team with even 3?

  17. “How about the theory that the Pat players have jointly discussed this within themselves? Colluding to opt out should be discussed as an issue. How can they have 8 guys opt out and not sure if there’s another team with even 3?”

    —-

    Even if they did, and they probably did, so what? It’s not illegal.

  18. NFL players would NEVER operate in poor faith. It’s not like numerous former players defrauded the league’s medical fund.

  19. not sure if there’s another team with even 3?
    ————————————————————

    Lions have 8 including their top signal caller.

  20. Lions have 8 including their top signal caller.

    ————

    Wait, I’m wrong. 8 on the COVID list. My bad.

  21. All you need is a brain and access to the internet. Check out the graphs at bing.com/COVID .

    If I remember correctly there are a few NFL teams in CA, FL and TX. Infection rates are out of control and we don’t have a good understanding of the long term effects of getting the coronavirus. It looks like many people that contract it, and “recover” still might have long term heart damage.

    If you look at everything, you’d have to be nuts to get on the field.

  22. NinersFan1973 says:
    August 2, 2020 at 2:15 pm
    I think Mosley opting out after collecting a roster bonus and triggering a guarantee for the 2021 season may have sent up about 1,000 red flags.
    ___________

    Definitely suspicious, but no one thought it would get this crazy on 3/22 when the second half of his 2021 salary became guaranteed.

    Since Mosley’s received all his money this year, he’s smart for opting out of a situation that won’t give him money while risking his family. I doubt anyone commenting would work for free.

  23. seanismorriscom says:
    August 2, 2020 at 4:21 pm
    All you need is a brain and access to the internet. Check out the graphs at bing.com/COVID .

    If I remember correctly there are a few NFL teams in CA, FL and TX. Infection rates are out of control and we don’t have a good understanding of the long term effects of getting the coronavirus. It looks like many people that contract it, and “recover” still might have long term heart damage.

    If you look at everything, you’d have to be nuts to get on the field.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Sure, you know that and I know that but there are a whole lot of people out there that have absolutely locked themselves into believing every word that comes out of the stable genius. If they didn’t they’d have to admit, even if only to themselves, what they elected.

  24. A big chunk of the squad obviously doesn’t want to play for the Pats. Back to mediocrity without Brady.

  25. “How can they have 8 guys opt out and not sure if there’s another team with even 3?”

    Belichick hires very smart players.

  26. The common retort by owners and fans that support owners over players, its just business. Yet the owners dont like it when the players, come back with its just business.

    Kinda like Republicons, that try to tell a woman what to do with her body, yet say I have a right not to wear a mask and infect others

  27. Is it just me, or do any of you feel the large amount of players opting out of the Patriots, is a Belichekian move, to be “absorbent for Lawrence” next year? After all, Tom Brady took his game to Tampa Bay so it is time for a reboot.

  28. JaminJake says:
    August 2, 2020 at 11:52 am
    It’s amazing. Seems like the teams only want things slanted in their favor at every possible turn.
    ____________________________________

    What business doesn’t and make no mistake this is a lot more business now than it is a sport!

  29. Looking at the Cowboys we have had opt-outs from Maurice Canady who, following the draft, was battling for CB 5/6 duties, so definitely on the bubble, and Jamize Olawale who only played 10% of snaps last year (with a HC who uses FB) and looking for further decrease, if not cut, as McCarthy generally do not use FBs.

    Not saying that their reasons are not legit, just saying that they were def. on the bubble

  30. NinersFan1973 says:
    August 2, 2020 at 2:15 pm
    I think Mosley opting out after collecting a roster bonus and triggering a guarantee for the 2021 season may have sent up about 1,000 red flags.

    Who cares. What happens if he blows his knee out in training camp. He gets paid and has a limp. If he gets covid he gets paid and could end up in a box. Maybe he’s educated himself and doesn’t want the risk. Maybe some of these guys would stay if there was a bubble like the nil and NBA. MLB is a mess. All it takes is 1 dope to infect a team and kill the season or someone.

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