"This is one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make in my life but I must follow my convictions and do what I believe is the right for me personally," Duvernay-Tardif wrote. "That is why I have decided to take the opt-out option negotiated by the league and the NFLPA and officially opt out of the 2020 season.
"Being at the frontline during this offseason has given me a different perspective on this pandemic and the stress it puts on individuals and our healthcare system. I cannot allow myself to potentially transmit the virus in our communities simply to play the sport that I love. If I am to take risks, I will do it caring for patients."
Duvernay-Tardif acknowledged the efforts from the NFL, players' association, and Chiefs' medical staff, but he said that "some risks will remain."
The NFL and NFLPA agreed Friday to CBA changes ahead of the 2020 season. The agreement includes a two-tiered opt-out plan for players.
Duvernay-Tardif was set to make $2.75 million this season. Instead, he'll receive $150,000 from the league's new opt-out deal. The 29-year-old was drafted by the Chiefs in 2014 and started 17 games during Kansas City's title campaign last season, including Super Bowl LIV.
The Canadian graduated from McGill University with Doctor of Medicine and Master of Surgery degrees. He's been one of the most active NFL players in supporting his community amid the coronavirus pandemic.