Who else will step down for 2020?


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On Friday night, shortly after the NFL and NFL Players Association finalized their deal for professional football in a pandemic, Chiefs goaltender Laurent Duvernay-Tardif exercised his right to opt out of the 2020 season. will another join him?

Some believe that eventually the numbers will be small, perhaps single-digit. The stipend that players receive is essentially a cash advance and not free money. Some players could take it, get cut next year and potentially owe the team money. (We’re waiting for final language on this point, but everything indicates that, for example, an undrafted free agent who is likely not to be on the 53-player roster can’t just pocket $ 150,000 and move on with it. no future obligation to the team.)

The withdrawal amounts to a one-year hiatus in a player’s career, with the player’s career picking up from where it left off in 2021. With eight days remaining to make the decision, some players might still try to use a possible withdrawal as leverage. for a better contract.

Ultimately, that could be the strategy deployed by Vikings running back Dalvin Cook. Something strange is happening there, given Saturday’s constant contradictions over whether or not he told the squad he would show up for the start of training camp.

Under the withdrawal rules, Cook could show up at camp, let the team know that he is considering retiring, and then see if that message causes the Vikings to soften any offers they have already made. If they don’t, then he will have to decide whether to launch what would be an irrevocable one-year holdout.

It is definitely a two-edged sword. Cook would gain nothing if he resisted; Next year, he would still enter the final year of his rookie contract, at the same $ 1.331 million he is expected to earn this season. But the Vikings would lose their services for a full year, at a time when the Vikings are trying to build on what they accomplished in 2019.

Regardless of their motivation, all players have a limited window to step away for 2020. Surely some who have doubts about playing in the current climate would see these concerns addressed if the team offered them greater compensation for them. increased risks they will be. assuming this year. Maybe in the end some of them will just decide to take a 12-month hiatus – and maybe some teams will consider addressing their concerns with a financial bump that could cause them to embrace the lineup. total risk presented by what will be one of the strangest seasons in league history.


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