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.