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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some players around the league used their right to opt out in 2020. This year, they'll be able to choose that option once more.
NFL players have until 4 p.m. ET on July 2 to notify their team if they want to opt out of the 2021 season, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. Players who are judged "greater risk" for COVID will be paid $350,000 again, but voluntary opt-outs will not be compensated, according to Pelissero. Last season, the payment for voluntary opt-outs was $150,000.
Prior to the offseason deadline, 67 players, including Patriots line backer Dont'a Hightower and safety Patrick Chung, former Chiefs running back Damien Williams, Giants offensive tackle Nate Solder, and New York Jets line backer C.J. Mosley, opted out of the 2020 season.
According to a memo received by Pelissero, the NFL and NFLPA agreed to provide additional perks to fully immunised players. Allowing them to collect per-game roster benefits even if they miss a game due to a "breakthrough case" and preventing teams from challenging a COVID-19 infection under certain conditions are two of them.
Pelissero announced last week that fully vaccinated players will not be required to undergo daily COVID testing or wear face coverings at the team facilities, nor will they be subjected to a five-day mandated isolation period if they are exposed to a coronavirus-positive individual.