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NFL: JAN 03 Packers at Bears

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NFL players wishing to opt-out of next season will have to notify their respective teams by July 2, according to sources.

The league said “higher risk” players who remain on the sidelines will be entitled to a $350,000 stipend. As for a voluntary opt-out due to COVID-19, those players will receive no compensation. Last year, Anyone who decided not to play due to the pandemic earned a minimum of $150,000.

Only players who inked their contract before Oct. 1 are eligible to take a voluntary opt-out for 2021. And none of the players from this year’s rookie class will be eligible to call-off next season. The NFL says any “higher risk” rookies will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis with the individual team still owning that player’s rights.

All players who choose to opt-out of the 2021 season will be restricted from team activities as a “final decision.”

The league and the NFLPA also agreed to more benefit for fully vaccinated players such as roster bonuses, even if they miss games due to a “breakthrough” COVID case.

Individual teams will carry a 90-man roster before the start of the NFL preseason that opens with the Hall of Fame game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys on Aug. 5.