The Buffalo Bills had two players opt out of the 2020 NFL season as the 4 PM deadline passed on Thursday—but one of them was not cornerback Tre’Davious White. White would have been the highest-profile player in the league to opt out, and the young cornerback seriously considered it, before ultimately deciding to play in 2020.
White’s long-time girlfriend’s grandfather passed away from COVID-19, and with two small children at home, it would have been understandable if he sat out the season. He came to the facility this week to scope out the changes and restrictions before agreeing to play this year. It gets him one year closer to his $10 million salary in 2021 and a bigger contract after that.
The two Bills players to opt out were starting DT Star Lotulelei and depth CB E.J. Gaines. Many offensive and defensive linemen opted out. With the close quarters of the line play and the side effects of having a very large BMI and high weight, these players are at a much higher risk of complications from the coronavirus.
Former Bills players WR Marquise Goodwin, DT Kyle Peko and OL Russel Bodine also opted out. Peko’s wife is recovering from cancer treatment and he was one of the first players to opt out. Goodwin and his wife have spoken publicly about their miscarriages and didn’t want to jeopardize their young daughter.
The only way to be added to the list now is to be diagnosed with something that would move a player from the low-risk category to the high-risk category; asthma, cancer, compromised immune system, sickle cell, and high blood pressure are just some of the high-risk factors. They can also opt out if a family member is hospitalized or dies from COVID-19.
Here’s the complete list of players around the league who won’t be playing in 2020.
Arizona Cardinals: OL Marcus Gilbert
Baltimore Ravens: KR De’Anthony Thomas, OL Andre Smith
Buffalo Bills: DT Star Lotulelei, CB E.J. Gaines
Carolina Panthers: LB Jordan Mack, LB Christian Miller
Chicago Bears: DT Eddie Goldman, S Jordan Lucas
Cincinnati Bengals: DT Josh Tupou, OT Isaiah Prince
Cleveland Browns: DT Andrew Billings, T Drake Dorbeck, G Drew Forbes, OL Colby Gossett, G Malcolm Pridgeon
Dallas Cowboys: CB Maurice Canady, WR Stephen Guidry, FB Jamize Olawale
Denver Broncos: DT Kyle Peko, RT Ja’Wuan James
Detroit Lions: DT John Atkins, WR Geronimo Allison, C Russell Bodine
Green Bay Packers: WR Devin Funchess
Houston Texans: DT Eddie Vanderdoes
Indianapolis Colts: LB Skai Moore, DB Rolan Milligan, DB Marvell Tell
Jacksonville Jaguars: EDGE Lerentee McCray, CB Rashaan Melvin, DT Al Woods
Kansas City Chiefs: OL Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, RB Damien Williams, OT Lucas Niang
Las Vegas Raiders: DB D.J. Killings, DE Jeremiah Valoaga, LB Ukeme Eligwe
Los Angeles Rams: OT Chandler Brewer
Miami Dolphins: WR Allen Hurns, WR Albert Wilson
Minnesota Vikings: DT Michael Pierce
New England Patriots: OL Marcus Cannon, LB Dont’a Hightower, FB Dan Vitale, RB Brandon Bolden, OL Najee Toran, WR Marqise Lee, S Patrick Chung, TE Matt LaCosse
New Orleans Saints: TE Jason Vander Laan, TE Cole Wick
New York Giants: OL Nate Solder, WR Da’Mari Scott, CB Sam Beal
New York Jets: OL Leo Koloamatangi, LB C.J. Mosley, WR Josh Doctson
Philadelphia Eagles: WR Marquise Goodwin
San Francisco 49ers: WR Travis Benjamin, OL Shon Coleman
Seattle Seahawks: OL Chance Warmack
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: OT Brad Seaton
Tennessee Titans: OL Anthony McKinney
Washington Football Team: DE Caleb Brantley