LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) – The Chargers will not have any players opt out of the 2020 NFL season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Twenty offensive linemen and 11 on defense were among half of the 66 NFL players who opted out before Thursday’s deadline. Players with a medical opt out will receive a $350,000 stipend, while those voluntarily opting out receive $150,000 as an advance against future salaries.
Along with the Chargers, only two other teams had no one opting out: the Steelers and Falcons.
The only player on the Rams to opt out before Thursday’s 4 p.m. ET deadline was Chandler Brewer, according to the league’s official transactions wire.
The Rams and 11 other teams had no more than one player opt out of the season.
Rams DL Aaron Donald said his teammates are ready to play regardless of any health risks.
“Guys know what they need to do. We’re all grown men at the end of the day,” Donald said. “For this thing to work, guys need to do it the right way. You can tell guys, and do whatever you need to do, to explain it to them, but at the end of the day, we are all grown men, and people are going to do what they want to do outside the facility and make their own decisions.”
New England had the most with eight players opting to sit.
Should a player decide to walk away after Thursday’s deadline because of a changed medical circumstance, he would get a stipend — unless he already exceeded the value of the stipend in the time he was active. Otherwise, there will be no financial compensation for voluntary future opt outs.
There also are salary cap relief machinations attached to opt outs. Contract bonus payments due to be applied to the cap in 2020 will be delayed a year even though the bonus has been paid.
Denver’s Simmons saw two teammates, Von Miller and Kareem Jackson, contract COVID-19. Both are back and planning to play, which aided Simmons in deciding not to opt out.
“Speaking just in my family, my wife is the one that’s the most nervous,” he said, “and we understand everything going on with numbers and statistics. But just having conversations with guys like Kareem and Von, people that have had it and had to endure that and work through it. It’s a scary time. And the reality is this is affecting a lot of families.
“And so, my wife and I have had really difficult conversations about opting out and what the season’s going to look like. And do you really think measures are being taken that you guys are being cared for in the best way possible? And obviously I haven’t seen a lot of the places around the NFL, but just being here you can really see the effort in the Denver facilities to make sure that we’re doing everything we can to make sure we can play football in a safe manner.”
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Corp. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)