White would have been the third Bills player to opt out.
The 2019 first-team All-Pro spoke candidly to reporters as he weighed his decision this week, citing concerns about his family's well-being. White has two young children -- a 3-year-old and an 11-month-old -- and said he wanted to get a feel for what protocols the Bills set in place before making his decision.
"I just wanted to come in and kind of see how it was going to go, how the season was going to go as far as moving around in the locker room and the day-to-day operations," he said Wednesday. "Just talking it over with my [family] and seeing what would be the best decision for my kids."
White took exception to people criticizing him for his deliberation on social media.
Crazy that me choosing my family's wellbeing over a game comes with so called fans attacking and questioning me and saying I'm selfish. No you guys are selfish for thinking that football is bigger than life. Oh by the way my girl's grandfather passed from COVID. U understand now?— Tre'Davious White (@TakeAwayTre_) August 6, 2020
White was drafted in the first round of the 2017 NFL draft and is considered one of the top cornerbacks in the league. He is the cornerstone of a Bills unit that has been among the top three scoring defenses over the past two seasons and is a big reason Buffalo is widely believed to be an AFC title contender in 2020.
Bills cornerback E.J. Gaines and defensive tackle Star Lotulelei did opt out of the 2020 season. Lotulelei was expected to start, while Gaines would have added depth to a cornerback unit that lacked it in 2019.
A league source told ESPN the Bills have been one of the most proactive teams in terms of player safety this training camp, and commended the team for taking extraordinary measures to keep players safe during the coronavirus pandemic. However, White said Wednesday that the team's five positive test results from the first week of camp contributed to his uncertainty.
"Obviously, we have some of the best people around the league that really care for our well-being, so obviously they've been doing a great job," he said. "But it's the aspect of guys still testing positive and having false positive tests, then coming back to test negative. Psychologically, that plays a part in my thinking each and every day -- do I want to come in here and (possibly) get my little 11-month-old baby sick, just coming home and trying to love on him and picking him up? Do I want to risk that? Because at the end of the day, no matter what, my family's going to come first -- no matter how big of a season or what's going on, I'm going to always put my kids first.
"Those are the types of things I think about every day, if I'm willing to go the distance, go four or five months doing the same thing and having my kids stuck in the house."