The NFL determined that players must opt out of the coming season by Thursday at 4 p.m. ET, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
The league and NFLPA recently agreed to revised terms for the collective bargaining agreement in order to stage the 2020 season amid the coronavirus pandemic. Players were supposed to have a full week after the two sides finalized an agreement to decide whether they'll play in 2020.
The NFL and players' association signed the revised CBA on Monday night, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.
The league appeared keen to push the deadline forward, perhaps due to concerns that the opt-out option is not being used in good faith.
Some teams are worried that players who believe they will soon be cut are choosing to opt out in order to earn the six-figure stipend set by the league, a source told Florio.
Certain agents are also using potential opt-outs as leverage to secure new contracts for their clients, Florio reports.
Players considered to be at high risk of complications from COVID-19 are expected to receive $350,000 and an accrued NFL season if they opt out for 2020. Players who decide to sit out but aren't considered high risk will get $150,000.
Several NFLers have already opted out of the upcoming campaign. Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif was the first to announce his decision on July 24, while New York Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley and New England Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower are among the high-profile players who will also sit out the 2020 season.