League gets lucky with no quarterback opt-outs

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The league giveth opt out rights, and then the league hoped that the number of opt outs wouldn’t taketh away the season. Although more players opted out than expected, the group of nearly 70 players to pass on playing in 2020 includes no passers.

At the most important position in the sport, not a single player opted out. That surprised some, especially in light of the reality that a strong case could be made for players with significant fully-guaranteed salaries in 2020 to press pause on their careers for a year, given the possibility that the 2020 season will be scrapped and that, based on their specific contract, they would lose millions.

But here’s the reality: The backlash from fans if a starting quarterback with guaranteed salary in 2020 had made the business decision to take a year off would have been strong and relentless. Bills cornerback Tre'Davious White took plenty of abuse from fans, and he simply was thinking about opting out. If Russell Wilson or Aaron Rodgers or Dak Prescott or Ryan Tannehill or Kirk Cousins or any other top-half-of-the-league quarterbacks on the right side of 40 had decided to take a season off, it could have gotten very ugly for those players, making it much harder for them to reconnect with the fan base and/or their teammates in 2021.

It shouldn’t be that way, but it is. Opt-out decisions should be respected in every case, but fans who have jobs that pay far less and that entail no opt-out rights don’t want to hear about millionaire athletes getting to take a year off, especially when those fans have spent the last five months looking forward to football season as a distraction from the realities of the worst pandemic in 100 years.

Surely, at least one of the quarterbacks on the NFL’s 32 depth charts have concerns about playing football in a pandemic. Not a single one opted-out. Whatever the reasons (and concern over hostile fan reaction undoubtedly was one of them), that’s very good news for the NFL.

9 responses to “League gets lucky with no quarterback opt-outs

  1. Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White took plenty of abuse from fans, and he simply was thinking about opting out.

    If White was actually thinking, he wouldn’t have told the media he was considering opting out. Keep that to yourself and announce once you’ve made a decision. He was essentially asking for everyone to throw in their two cents. That’s what the backlash was for.

  2. Nailed it – opt out and you lose me as a fan because I am working, keeping the economy going.

    One thing you missed – it doesnt matter what you are paid.

    Going to work is for the greater good of the country.

  3. The majority of them just sit there with a clipboard. Why would you opt out of that job? Easy Money.

  4. Going to work is for the greater good of the country.
    No, going to work is for the greater good of the economy. Staying home and not spreading the virus is actually what’s best for the country.

  5. pkrfaninsc says:

    No, going to work is for the greater good of the economy.
    Correct – its to put food on families tables, roofs over peoples heads, and mental health improvement for all of those that struggle to find a way to live without work because of the economical downturn.

    If everyone went back to work those issues would all be fixed for the millions out of work. The mental health issues this virus brought on are taking a larger toll to the american people than the virus itself.

  6. League gets lucky with no quarterback opt-outs

    That’s not quite accurate – Kaepernick opted out

  7. No backup in his right mind would opt out…no preseason means until QB1 gets hurt he’s not going to get hit once. Just has to not stick his fingers in his mouth or eyes after touching the ball.

  8. Hint: QBs make A LOT of money. They may be less willing to give that up than an older vet who is making 3MM.

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