Today’s 4 pm EST deadline for NFL players to opt-out of the 2020 season has passed, and there have been no more opt-outs for any Bengals. Paul Dehner has also confirmed there have been no more Bengals opt-outs.
Some wondered if defensive tackle Geno Atkins could opt out due to his sickle cell trait, as people with that condition have a higher risk of serious damage to their body if they contract the coronavirus.
That’s why Atkins may have been able to get the NFL’s high-risk opt-out plan, which would have paid him $350,000 and given him an accrued season.
But as of now, no new Bengals have opted out, though this is not the end of opt-outs for the upcoming season.
Players will have the opportunity to opt-out after the deadline if “a close family member gets seriously sick with COVID or if they themselves are newly diagnosed with a high-risk condition,” per the NFLPA.
For a refresher, two types of opt-out plans are available. Players who qualify as having a high-risk condition will receive a $350,000 stipend that does not count as a salary advance, their contracts will toll, and they will earn an accrued season toward free agency.
Players who don’t qualify as high risk can choose the voluntary opt-out option, which includes a $150,000 salary advance for the 2021 season and a tolling of contracts but no credit of an accrued season.