What COVID-19 NFL opt outs will have the most impact in 2020?

New York Jets

FLORHAM PARK, NJ – JUNE 05: C.J. Mosley #57 of the New York Jets speaks with the media after day two of mandatory minicamp at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center on June 5, 2019, in Florham Park, New Jersey. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

What are the most impactful player opt-outs due to COVID-19?

The deadline for all NFL players to decide if they were participating in the 2020 NFL season was 4:00 PM EST on August 6th. All told, 69 players chose not to take the plunge and will subsequently sit out the upcoming season. A full list of these players is available here.

To be fair, none of these 69 men should be chided for their respective decision. MLB operations have been utterly topsy-turvy amid the commencement of the shortened 2020 season. Several players for the Miami Marlins contracted the coronavirus and the immediate future of the sport was sent into a tailspin. So far, MLB has seemed to mitigate the chaos, and the sport might just proceed onward.

Conversely. the NBA has been the blueprint for sports functionality in our pandemic-riddled reality. All playoff-contending NBA teams hunkered down in the belly of Disney and thus far the strategy has proven to be ingenious.

The NFL kicks off its regular-season schedule in early September. Outwardly, it’s feeling as if the league will proceed with few or no fans, a normal schedule of games, and of course, rigorous COVID testing.

But over five dozen players said “no thanks,” and will essentially pause their contracts until 2021 when they, evidently, feel the world will operate more normally. Time will be the adjudicator.

Some NFL franchises were ravaged by opt-outs; a few were unaffected. For example, the Atlanta Falcons, the Los Angeles Chargers and the Pittsburgh Steelers had no opt-outs. The New England Patriots “led” the way with eight players bowing out, approximately 15 percent.

On team impact, here are the four most consequential player opt-outs.

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