Report: NFL schedules opt-out deadline for July 2
The NFL has determined players have until Friday, July 2 at 4 p.m. ET to opt out of the 2021 season, a source told NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.
Players considered to be at high risk for COVID-19 will be eligible to receive a $350,000 stipend if they opt out, the same amount as last season, adds Pelissero.
Those who chose not to play but aren't deemed high risk reportedly won't receive any money, as opposed to last year's $150,000 stipend. The rule change includes one exception:
The NFL and NFLPA have also set more benefits for vaccinated players this season, allowing those to collect a per-game roster bonus even if they miss a contest due to a positive COVID-19 test, according to Pelissero.
The league and union recently updated their COVID-19 protocols, easing the rules for vaccinated individuals. The updates, which generated some criticism across the NFL, include eliminating daily testing and quarantine following exposure to the virus.
A total of 68 players sat out the 2020 campaign before last year's Aug. 6 deadline. The deadline hit the New England Patriots the hardest, with eight players opting out.