No opt outs for 2021

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The window closed on Friday. The official news as to whether anyone opted to go through it came today.

Per multiple reports, the official transaction report (which officially will be released probably by the time this is published) shows that no players opted out for the 2021 season.

It’s no surprise, given the availabilities of vaccines in 2021 and the fact that so few opted out in 2020. Still, any player who signed his most recent contract before October 1, 2020 could have done it, for any reason.

That doesn’t entirely end the matter, however. If, for example, a guy like Bills receiver Cole Beasley decides he won’t get the vaccine but he resents operating under 2020 rules when the vaccinated get to party like it’s 2019, Beasley could simply retire for 2021 and return next year.

Of course, Beasley would owe $1.5 million in unearned signing bonus money. Opting out would have held everything in place for a full year.

As we originally pointed out (and, as Big Cat happily predicted on PFT Live, everyone else would repeat it without giving us credit), Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers could have saved more than $20 million by opting out of the 2021 season instead of sitting out while under contract. This doesn’t mean he won’t sit out; as we’ve also explained, Rodgers and his representatives believe that, if he never plays for the Packers again, he ultimately won’t be paying back a penny to the corporation that owns the team.

Rodgers also could retire for a season and then resume his career in 2022, when the Packers finally decided to trade him. If they don’t change their minds about not trading him in 2021. They’d surely not pay his $6.8 million roster bonus, earned in March but due in weekly installments during the season. The question would become whether they’d pursue his $11.5 million signing bonus allocation for 2021, previously paid out under the presumption he’d earn it this season by playing.

14 responses to “No opt outs for 2021

  1. I think players saw what happened to some of the 2020 opt outs, like Damien Williams that came back and were cut.

  2. Still thought Jawuan James would have jumped on the opportunity to sit out.

  3. I’m shocked I tell you, especially after PFT had multiple articles pleading with Rodgers to opt out.

  4. As president of the Cole Beasley fan club, can you be like Elsa and “Let it Go?”
    My lord it’s just football not surgeons in a hospital.

  5. None of the guys who opted out last year gained, nor prevented, a thing. Showing up for work matters!

  6. I’d be shocked if there’s one player in the entire league who is worried about playing or practicing with an unvaccinated player. I mean, everyone who wants the vaccine HAS the vaccine, right? And those who don’t, don’t. What are we worrying about here? If the vaccine works, there is no one — I repeat, NO ONE — at risk here other than those who voluntarily choose to accept said risk. Let’s move on with life.

  7. tripoli18 says:
    July 6, 2021 at 5:45 pm
    As president of the Cole Beasley fan club, can you be like Elsa and “Let it Go?”
    My lord it’s just football not surgeons in a hospital.

    Right! So many vax bullies

  8. Having watched and read about Rodgers’ situation ad nauseum, I think that the commentators have missed the legal strategy Rodgers may be employing. Everyone assumes that he is playing by the normal rules of the game. He has regularly pointed to the mental health issues caused by the situation in Green Bay. Many of the issues that he seems to imply he suffers from require medication. If the prescription medications are prohibited by the NFL, has Rodgers sought a waiver of the NFL drug policy to address his rage or anxiety? Has the NFL denied such a waiver? If so, can an employer penalize an employee for refusing to comply with the NFL drug policy? What if his lawyers have kept the NFL informed of Rodgers’ potential mental health challenges associated with a hostile work environment? If the NFL refuses to allow him to use normally prescribed medications, would it be liable under laws like the ADA or California statutes? My point is simple. Rodgers is not an idiot; he has repeatedly referred to the impact of the actions of the Green Bay front office on him. If his lawyers have involved the NFL, will they act as an owner to oversee the slow motion train wreck of the Green Bay front office or will they allow the situation to explode before intervening? Given what the NFL did in Carolina, I think we all know the answer to that question.

  9. flyfishfanatic says:
    July 6, 2021 at 7:02 pm
    I’d be shocked if there’s one player in the entire league who is worried about playing or practicing with an unvaccinated player. I mean, everyone who wants the vaccine HAS the vaccine, right? And those who don’t, don’t. What are we worrying about here? If the vaccine works, there is no one — I repeat, NO ONE — at risk here other than those who voluntarily choose to accept said risk. Let’s move on with life.
    ————————————————————————————————-
    Which vaccine is it that is 100% effective?

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