Players opting out of 2020 NFL season because of coronavirus concerns: Tracking the full list

Riddick salutes Hightower for opting out (1:24)

Louis Riddick applauds Dont'a Hightower and other players for opting out of the NFL season instead of putting others at risk. (1:24)

Which players will opt out of the 2020 NFL season because of concerns over the coronavirus pandemic? Now that the NFL and NFL Players Association have agreed on a plan to start training camps, we've seen Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif announce his intention to sit out the season, followed by more than 40 other players.

There won't be any preseason games this year, but the regular season is set to begin Sept. 10 with the Houston Texans traveling to Kansas City.

The NFL opt-out deadline is Thursday, Aug. 6, at 4 p.m. ET. Players considered high risk for COVID-19 can earn $350,000 and an accrued NFL season if they choose to opt out of the season. Players without risk can earn $150,000 for opting out.

Here are the players opting out of the 2020 season, with the latest at the top:

Aug. 4

Andrew Billings, DT, Cleveland Browns

The Browns signed Billings this offseason on a one-year deal to combat their lack of depth up front last year. He would've been Cleveland's top reserve defensive tackle, behind starters Sheldon Richardson and Larry Ogunjobi.

Aug. 3

D.J. Killings, DB, Las Vegas Raiders

Killings spent the 2019 season on injured reserve after suffering a torn pectoral early in training camp. Valoaga did not sign with the Raiders until the season's last week and was inactive for the season finale.

Jeremiah Valoaga, DE, Las Vegas Raiders

While both Killings and Valoaga opted out, neither was expected to make the Raiders' roster this season. In fact, neither played for the Raiders last season. Valoaga did not sign with the Raiders until the season's last week and was inactive for the season finale.

Jordan Lucas, S, Chicago Bears

Lucas, who the Bears signed to a one-year deal, was expected to compete for one of the club's backup safety spots. Chicago guaranteed Lucas $340,000 for the 2020 season at the time of his signing, a clear indication the Bears considered the veteran a strong contender to make the final 53-man roster. The Bears signed several safeties in free agency, including Lucas, after last year's starter Ha Ha Clinton-Dix left for the Cowboys.

Josh Harvey-Clemons, LB, Washington Football Team

Harvey-Clemons was going to have to fight to earn a roster spot this season. He was a backup linebacker in his first three seasons, playing mostly in sub packages in a coverage role. But with Washington switching to a 4-3 and having drafted one linebacker and signed two others -- plus possibly getting back Reuben Foster -- Harvey-Clemons faced a tough battle.

Ja'Wuan James, OT, Denver Broncos

James has informed the team that he will opt out of the 2020 season. James, 28, was entering the second year of a four-year, $51 million deal with Denver. He was limited to three games last season because of torn ligaments in his knee. He tweeted a statement Monday, saying it was "tough, but the right decision" and cited "too much unknown about this virus & about plans handling it going forward."

Christian Miller, OLB, Carolina Panthers

Miller believes that he is at a high risk for COVID-19. The 24-year-old was drafted to play outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme, but with the Panthers moving back to a 4-3 this season he was considered a backup edge rusher.

Aug. 2

Geronimo Allison, WR, Detroit Lions

Allison, who signed with Detroit this offseason, was expected to compete for a depth roster spot on the outside behind Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones. With Allison out, another free-agent signee, Geremy Davis, and third-year pro Chris Lacy could have good shots at a spot. It could also open up a bigger role for rookie Quintez Cephus. Allison is the second Detroit player to opt out, joining defensive tackle John Atkins.

Da'Mari Scott, WR, New York Giants

Scott, a wide receiver and kick returner, became the second Giants player to opt out of the season.

Jamize Olawale, FB, Dallas Cowboys

Olawale became the third Cowboy to opt out of the season, joining cornerback Maurice Canady and wide receiver Stephen Guidry. Olawale has been the Cowboys' starting fullback the past two seasons, and the team picked up his 2020 option earlier in the offseason.

Matt LaCosse, TE, New England Patriots

LaCosse raises the Patriots' total of opt-out players to eight, which is easily the most of any team in the league. He was entering his second year with the Patriots and sixth in the NFL. LaCosse played in 11 games last season in New England, totaling 13 receptions for 131 yards and one touchdown. He was projected to be on the roster again this year, complementing rookie tight ends Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene, both of whom the Patriots traded up to select in the third round of the NFL draft.

E.J. Gaines, CB, Buffalo Bills

Gaines, 28, missed all of last season due to a core muscle injury. The Bills re-signed Gaines to a one-year deal in March and were expecting the five-year veteran to provide depth in their secondary.

Aug. 1

Lerentee McCray, DE/LB, Jacksonville Jaguars

McCray became the second Jaguars player to opt out with his announcement on Saturday. McCray, who signed a one-year contract worth $1.047 million in March, is one of the Jaguars' core special-teams players. He has 2.5 sacks in limited defensive reps with the Jaguars over the past two seasons.

C.J. Mosley, LB, New York Jets

The Jets middle linebacker hasn't commented publicly, but a source said Mosley was opting out of the season because of family health reasons. In a span of a week, the Jets have lost their top two players on defense for the season. They traded All-Pro safety Jamal Adams to the Seahawks on July 25, and now Mosley is gone. Mosley missed 14 games last season because of a groin injury that required surgery.

Marqise Lee, WR, New England Patriots

Lee said Saturday that he has decided to opt out of the 2020 season, becoming the seventh Patriots player to do so. No NFL team has had more players opt out of the season. Lee, 28, became a first-time father in February, and said protecting his newborn daughter, Alia, and family was at the core of his decision. "This is a big sit-down process I had, with me and my significant other, as far as family goes. The risk factor in which we believe that's going out there, it just wasn't worth it in a sense. Just too many unknowns," Lee told ESPN.com.

July 31

Chandler Brewer, OT, Los Angeles Rams

Rams tackle Chandler Brewer has opted out for the 2020 NFL season, according to an official team release. "With my history with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, I am at high risk and will opt out of playing in the NFL this season," Brewer said, per the Rams website. "I would like to thank the Rams for their support and I look forward to getting back on the field in 2021 and beyond."

Al Woods, DT, Jacksonville Jaguars

The run-stuffing defensive tackle signed a one-year contract with the Jaguars in March after spending the 2019 season with Seattle. The Jaguars struggled against the run in 2019 (139 yards per game allowed), especially after Marcell Dareus went down with a sports hernia. Woods was going to take Dareus' spot in the middle of the defensive line, a spot that will likely now be manned by Abry Jones and rookie Davon Hamilton, who was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list earlier this week.

Isaiah Prince, OT, Cincinnati Bengals

Prince appeared in four games with the Dolphins in 2019 before he was eventually released. The Bengals picked him up toward the end of the season with hopes of having him as a depth option moving forward. He was inactive for Cincinnati's final four games of last season. Prince was slotted to be a backup tackle in 2020.

Josh Tupou, DT, Cincinnati Bengals

Tupou signed a one-year deal with the Bengals after the team made him a restricted free agent in the offseason. Tupou appeared in all 16 games last season and made seven starts. The third year-veteran's role increased in 2019 as the Bengals battled injuries and a lack of depth in the interior defensive line. If Tupou had played this year, he could have provided more depth to a unit that added D.J. Reader during free agency. Tupou was set to earn $2.1 million this season.

July 29

John Atkins, DT, Detroit Lions

Atkins has opted out of the 2020 season, the first Lions player to do so. The 6-foot-3, 322-pound Atkins, 27, has played in 14 career games for the Lions. The Georgia product started six games for Detroit last season, making 20 tackles. Atkins was a candidate for a backup spot on the roster this season, one of the few holdovers from a revamped interior of the Lions' defensive line.

Damien Williams, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

Williams has opted out of the 2020 season, general manager Brett Veach said Wednesday. Williams, 28, led the Chiefs in rushing last season with 498 yards and five touchdowns. He scored two touchdowns in Kansas City's Super Bowl victory over the San Francisco 49ers.

Drew Forbes, G, Cleveland Browns

Forbes, a 2019 sixth-round pick, was expected to compete for the backup spot at right guard this season behind Wyatt Teller, who started the back half of the 2019 season.

Drake Dorbeck, OT, Cleveland Browns

Dorbeck is an undrafted free agent from Southern Miss. He started 34 games in college.

Nate Solder, OT, New York Giants

In a statement posted to Twitter, the 32-year-old Solder cited family concerns, including his son facing cancer and his own bout with cancer. Solder also has a newborn son. He said he "will deeply miss my teammates, coaches and everyone in the Giants organization." Solder, who won two Super Bowls with the Patriots, signed a four-year, $62 million contract with the Giants, with $35 million guaranteed, in March 2018. At the time, it made him the highest-paid offensive lineman in the NFL.

July 28

Jason Vander Laan, TE, New Orleans Saints

Vander Laan, 27, was set to battle for a backup/special teams job on the Saints' roster after appearing in two games with them last season and also spending time on their practice squad. The fifth-year journeyman also appeared in four games with the Colts in 2017.

Devin Funchess, WR, Green Bay Packers

Funchess, who had first-hand experience with COVID-19 this offseason while caring for family members who contracted the virus, has opted out of the 2020 season. The 26-year-old veteran was the only experienced addition the Packers made to their receiving corps, which was viewed as one of the few weaknesses on a team that reached the NFC Championship Game last season.

Jordan Mack, LB, Carolina Panthers

Undrafted rookie Jordan Mack became the first member of the Panthers to opt out of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. No details on why he made the decision were revealed, but he was a long shot to make the 53-man roster.

Leo Koloamatangi, OL, New York Jets

Jets offensive lineman Leo Koloamatangi, 26, opted out. He joined the practice squad last season and dressed for two games but saw no action. He was due to make $750,000 this season.

Marquise Goodwin, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

In need of more speed at the receiver position, the Eagles acquired Goodwin from the 49ers in April. He was part of the "track team" Philadelphia assembled this offseason along with draft picks and fellow burners Jalen Reagor, John Hightower and Quez Watkins. Family is top of mind for Goodwin. His wife, Morgan, had a baby girl in February after suffering multiple miscarriages.

Michael Pierce, DT, Minnesota Vikings

Pierce is opting out for the 2020 season due to respiratory concerns, according to a source. The 27-year-old signed a three-year, $27 million contract with the Vikings in March and was expected to replace Linval Joseph at nose tackle. The $3 million base salary Pierce was set to make during his first year in Minnesota will now be his salary for 2021. Because he falls into the high-risk category, he will receive a $350,000 stipend by opting out of the season.


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Star Lotulelei, DT, Buffalo Bills

Lotulelei signed a five-year, $50 million deal with the Bills in 2018 and has started at defensive tackle ever since, operating as one of the team's primary run-stopping defensive linemen. He signed a restructured contract this offseason, guaranteeing him $4.5 million in 2020; his new contract will now activate in 2021. Here's one of Lotulelei's teammates weighing in:

Eddie Goldman, DT, Chicago Bears

Goldman, 26, has been a stalwart on Chicago's defensive line since he entered the league as a second-round draft choice in 2015. Bears general manager Ryan Pace has repeatedly referred to Goldman as an "anchor" of Chicago's defense. He signed a four-year extension with Chicago prior to the 2018 season that contained $25 million in guarantees.

Anthony McKinney, OT, Tennessee Titans

McKinney, 22, is the first Titans player to opt out. The 6-foot-7, 316-pound lineman signed with the Titans as an undrafted free agent after two seasons at TCU.

Patrick Chung, S, New England Patriots

Chung had agreed to a two-year extension with the Patriots in May that included a $2 million signing bonus and base salary of $1.1 million. While the move was made to help the team create salary-cap space, it also provided Chung with up-front cash and reflected his status as a lock to be on the roster, likely starting alongside Devin McCourty. Chung, 32, was set to enter his 12th NFL season, 11 of which he's spent with the Patriots.

Cole Wick, TE, New Orleans Saints

Wick has opted out because of an asthma condition. Wick, 26, was going to compete for a backup job this summer after joining the Saints' practice squad late last season. The fifth-year journeyman previously played six games for the Lions in 2016 and five games for the 49ers in 2018.

Eddie Vanderdoes, DT, Houston Texans

The 25-year-old Vanderdoes is the first Texans player to opt out of the 2020 season due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. The defensive lineman played in three games for Houston in 2019 after he was activated from the practice squad. Vanderdoes is opting out voluntarily, so his contract rolls over to next season, when he is scheduled to make $825,000.

Kyle Peko, DT, Denver Broncos

Peko, who played in seven games for the Broncos in the 2016 and 2017 seasons, was again signed by the Broncos off the Colts practice squad last December and then signed for 2020 earlier this year. His wife, Giuliana, was diagnosed with Stage 3 Hodgkin's lymphoma last year and Peko was briefly excused from Bills training camp last summer to be with her. He announced last season that her treatments had been successful and she was cancer-free, but her battle with cancer would put her in the at-risk demographic for COVID-19.

Stephen Guidry, WR, Dallas Cowboys

Guidry, who signed with the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent earlier this year, will be placed on the reserve/voluntary opt-out list. Unlike veteran Maurice Canady, who opted out Monday, he will not receive the $150,00 payout. He will get to keep his $10,000 signing bonus and the Cowboys will continue to hold his rights.

Andre Smith, OT, Baltimore Ravens

Smith, 33, was the oldest offensive lineman on the team and was expected to give Baltimore experienced depth at offensive tackle. The Ravens re-signed Smith on Feb. 6 on a one-year, $1.07 million deal ($25,000 guaranteed). The No. 6 overall pick in the 2009 draft, Smith spent his first seven NFL seasons with the Bengals before short stints with the Vikings and Cardinals.

Dont'a Hightower, LB, New England Patriots

Hightower is opting out of the 2020 season, league sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter on Tuesday.‬ A three-time Super Bowl champion and team captain, the 6-foot-3, 260-pound Hightower traditionally calls the defensive signals and was going to be relied upon as much as ever this season after the free-agency departures of linebackers Kyle Van Noy and Jamie Collins Sr.


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Brandon Bolden, RB, New England Patriots

Bolden, 30, was set to enter his ninth NFL season, and eighth in New England. He is a core special-teams player who provides valuable depth on offense. Bolden was set to earn $1.3 million in base salary in 2020, which was the final year of his contract. That will toll to 2021.

July 27

Marcus Cannon, OT, New England Patriots

Cannon plans to opt out of the 2020 season, a source confirmed to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler on Monday night. Cannon, 32, is set to receive the $350,000 higher-risk amount as a cancer survivor, a source told Fowler. Cannon overcame non-Hodgkin lymphoma after he was drafted in 2011. The news about Cannon was first reported by 98.5 The Sports Hub.

Danny Vitale, FB, New England Patriots

The 26-year-old Vitale, who was the team's most experienced candidate to replace retired fullback James Develin, had signed a one-year, $1.3 million deal with the Patriots in May as a free agent. The contract included $100,000 in guaranteed money. Vitale, who has played in 44 career games, wasn't a lock to make the Patriots' final roster as he was vying for a spot against second-year player Jakob Johnson and undrafted rookie free agent Jake Burt.

Najee Toran, C/G, New England Patriots

Toran, 24, entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent out of UCLA in 2018 with the 49ers and was vying for a backup role after spending the 2019 season on the Patriots' practice squad.

Caleb Brantley, DL, Washington Football Team

Brantley, a 25-year-old former sixth-round pick, was signed by Washington in 2018. He was on injured reserve for 15 games last season.

Maurice Canady, CB, Dallas Cowboys

The 26-year-old Canady signed a one-year deal as a free agent in the offseason. He played in 13 games last season between the Jets and Ravens with an interception and five pass deflections. Canady tweeted, "Family first money second."

Chance Warmack, G, Seattle Seahawks

Warmack, 28, was expected to compete with third-round pick Damien Lewis and others for the starting job at right guard. He signed a veteran-minimum deal with Seattle in March after sitting out the 2019 season to get healthy. According to a source, Warmack had a family member die of COVID-19 and other family members hospitalized because of the disease. He went back and forth on whether to play this season before making his decision.

De'Anthony Thomas, WR, Baltimore Ravens

It is believed that this was Thomas' personal choice not to play and there were no preexisting medical conditions that factored into the decision. After being Baltimore's primary returner last season, Thomas, 27, re-signed with the Ravens on March 14 on a one-year, $935,000 (only $25,000 guaranteed) contract but was considered on the bubble entering training camp. He will receive a $150,000 salary advance and was placed on Baltimore's reserve list, which means he'll remain under contract with the Ravens in 2021.

July 24

Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, G, Kansas City Chiefs

Duvernay-Tardif, 29, was the first NFL player to publicly say he won't suit up this season. Duvernay-Tardif has been the Chiefs' starting right guard for the past five seasons and played every offensive snap in their Super Bowl LIV win over the San Francisco 49ers. He is a medical school graduate from McGill University in Canada and had been assisting as an orderly in a long-term care facility in the Montreal area during the coronavirus pandemic. "I cannot allow myself to potentially transmit the virus in our communities simply to play the sport that I love," he wrote on social media. "If I am to take risks, I will do it caring for patients."